I was raised in a strict vegetarian household, and when I was 16-year-old I rebelled by eating bacon, and since then I’ve been making up for my childhood meat deprivation. Today, I freaking love meat, and barbecue festivals allow me to embrace my teenage rebellion and eat myself into a meat coma.
Colorado has become a breeding ground for amazing barbecue events, and I like the trend. Loveland, Colorado has been celebrating smoked meats for several years, now, and although this year the event has changed a little, it will still be a glorious two days of carnivores gluttony.
Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands & Brews
When: Friday, July 13 from 12 to 10 p.m. & Saturday, July 14 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Downtown Loveland between 4th Street & 5th Street, along Railroad Avenue
This “new” event is actually the combination of two celebrations that have been taking place in downtown Loveland for a number of years – Loveland Loves BBQ and Summerfest. These events were held on the same weekend, but on the opposite ends of downtown, and it just makes sense to bring them together into one huge summer party.
BBQ”¦ mmmm”¦ meat
The smell of smoked meats will permeate the air starting on the morning of July 13th, when the cooks fire up their barbecues. This event is no longer sanctioned, so there will be fewer barbecue vendors than in the past, but it will still be a good gathering of regional masters of the grill.
I had the opportunity to preview some of the barbecue that will be at the fest during a private party held at Loveland Aleworks. I was a judge at the event that featured Bottlecap BBQ and Bedrock BBQ in a head-to-head challenge. It was a close race with Bottlecap taking home the medal for their amazing sauce and Bedrock winning a medal for their outstanding ribs. Beer pairings for each dish were provided by Loveland Aleworks and Grimm Brothers Brewhouse.
And speaking of beer, Loveland LOVES beer and this event will feature the town’s very own breweries. Fort Collins may be known as the Napa Valley of Beers, but Loveland is making their mark on beer lovers’ hearts.
MUSIC”¦ sweet music
Music will be a huge part of this event and it starts on 3 p.m. on Friday and ends on Saturday evening with That Eighties Band, playing from 8 to 10 p.m.
Other bands at the event include Johnny Johnston (acoustic blues), The Indulgers (Celtic), The Jurrassicasters (classic rock), Kory Brunson Band (country), The Honey Gitters (Americana), The Symbols (progressive pop/rock), The Big Motif (naked rock), Delta Sonics (blues) and Moses Jones (funk).
ART, CARS & MORE, oh my!
Meat, music and beer may be at the heart of this event, but it is so much more. On both days festivalgoers can browse the Marketplace featuring various handpicked, local vendors. A car show will be held from 11 .m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, as well as a living statue and the Big Snow Melt.
Also during this event, Loveland will show off the town’s vibrant, local arts scene during the Welded Art & Assembly Show taking place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Feed & Grain, just a block away from the fest.
The show involves the artists turning junk into one-of-a-kind sculptures right before your eyes. Artists will glue, weld, wire and assemble in this interactive and timed competition that will be judged by pros and the public. After the winners are announced at 7:15 p.m., the sculptures will be auctioned to raise money for Alternatives to Violence. More info at AssembleLoveland.com.
Full Disclosure: The Mayor’s husband, Ryan Schlaefer, will be competing in this event, along with teammate Robert Lipinski, so be sure to root them on!
So there you have it – you don’t want to miss Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands & Brews July 13-14, 2012. This event is a fundraiser for two local nonprofits, House of Neighborly Service and the Boys & Girls Club of Larimer County.