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Blues, Brews, and BBQ

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Come to Central City

By David Josselyn

  Smoke was in the air in Central City on Saturday, August 3rd. But this smoke did not cause locals to check the active wildfire websites; instead, they freely inhaled the delightful scent of burning wood, as they strolled up and down Main Street with drinks in hand. Meat smokers lined the street on Saturday for the Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival. Folks roamed from booth to booth to the vocal styling of the David Booker Band in the afternoon, followed by the soulful voice of Shemekia Copeland that evening. Even though other parts of the county were being thoroughly soaked by rain, revelers on Main Street only had to endure occasional scattered showers from noon to 3:00, before the clouds parted and the sun warmed the paving stones on the street. As always on summer weekends, the Wild Bunch Gang was there, shooting each other dead every hour on the hour. They even threw in an extra performance in front of the sound stage at 4:30 to the delight of the many people gathered there waiting for Ms. Copeland’s performance.

The BBQ

  Big Kahuna BBQ – Sue Pedigo and Dave Rose were on hand for the Golden-based company. Along with their smoker and variety of meats, they brought the Big Kahuna Chair; an oversized camp chair with six cup holders for whatever beverage suits your fancy. Big Kahuna won 4th place in the Fraser Barbecue Cook-off and is looking forward to Conifer’s competition on August 16th.

  Century Casino – Buffalo and elk bratwurst were being cooked up by Sheri and Stacy, employees of the Century Casino. The Century offers these grilled items only at special events, so don’t expect to find them inside the casino.

  Stella’s Upstairs Café – The CEO of Stella’s, an eatery in the Bonanza Casino, was grilling up some of her famous Bonanza Burgers. “It’s the best burger for the best price on the mountain,” declares Heidi. Also available were Heidi’s homemade ‘Heidi-Did-It’ beef jerky.

  JKQ BBQ – Central City local Joe Tinucci, owner of JKQ, was serving up some delicious smoked meats including ribs, turkey legs and pulled pork. JKQ won awards for Best Food Truck and Best Barbecue in Las Vegas twice in recent years. They also served up fresh fries, cooked to order. To them, fresh means they start with the whole potato and slice it up before the customer’s eyes.

  Pott Belly BBQ – Also based in Central, John Denney was serving up some smoked pork that practically melted in your mouth. John has been smoking meats for more than five years and started the Pott Belly BBQ business in 2011.

  Smokey J’s BBQ – Another smoker based in Golden, Smokey J’s is run by husband and wife team Jerry and Suzie Solt. They just got their start in January this year and have developed two unique sauces for their meats; EsJay Fuego, and EsJay Fuego Fuego. Each sauce has an incredible mix of flavors and as the names suggest, they are the hot and extra hot varieties. They use a mix of habanero, Serrano and jalapeño peppers.

  Annie Oakley’s Emporium – Although you won’t find smoked meats if you go into their store on Main Street, owner Greg Wilson smokes his own meats and was there Saturday to offer up his pulled pork, corn on the cob, and root beer floats. Greg is also pleased to offer retail marijuana products in the store starting January 1st, 2014.

The Brews and More Food

  Bob & Sue Griffith – A little Central City history was being relived as Bob and Sue were on hand selling Cornish pasties and peanut butter cookies. Bob’s great-grandmother, Mary Jane Davey, baked Cornish pasties for the miners of Central City and it is her recipe Bob and Sue now use. They grow their own cabbage for cole slaw and offer catering of a complete Cornish pasty menu.

  Mountain Mocha – The Black Hawk coffee house was on hand to sell their coffee and tea. They roast their own coffee and blend their own teas. They also make a delicious espresso brownie. A dark roast coffee called ‘Wake the Dead’ is one of their best sellers.

  Dostal Alley – Dostal’s famous pizza was being sold by Morgan Foelsch and Ty Schmalz.

Miscellany

  Gilpin History – Gloria Gaines manned the booth for Gilpin History, selling T-Shirts of the Wild Bunch Gang. All proceeds support Gilpin History.

  Gilpin Arts – A booth featuring three artists was present for Gilpin Arts. The artists represented were Ellen Westbrook, Dan Fyles, and Andi Sahlen; all of whom were there with friendly smiles and stories about their work. The three artists are just a small fraction of what is available to see at the two Gilpin Art Galleries.

  Kind Mountain Collective – Nick Juenemann and Alexia Weaver collect and sell locally crafted art and goods. On display Saturday were gemstone jewelry, glass pipes and tie-dye shirts.

  Courtney Creations – Courtney DeAnda, sporting a self-designed and hand-made dress, brought her unique sewn and crocheted items for the festival. Courtney was taught to sew by her grandmother and sold her 500th item this weekend. In her spare time, Courtney teaches Spanish for the middle school children at Caesar Chavez Academy in Denver.

  Pacific Blue Jewelry – Unique, ocean-inspired is how the jewelry is described by owner Meg Sumrow. Meg is a marine biologist from Hawaii and is studying Environmental Science at University of Colorado-Denver.

  KOOL 105 – Kris McLaughlin of the Kelly & Kris morning show on KOOL 105 (KXKL FM 105.1) was at the festival giving away concerts tickets for The Monkees along with Wilks Broadcasting Promotions Coordinator Jessie DiMercurio.

The Blues

  David Booker – David Booker, born in England, has backed Del Shannon and Bo Diddley and has opened for many artists including Los Lobos. Sticking to the theme of Saturday’s event, he sang the blues through the first four hours, only taking breaks once an hour.

  Shemekia Copeland – Shemekia is the daughter of blues guitarist and singer Johnny Copeland. She started singing with her father at the age of 16 and has never stopped. Her smooth voice belted across Main Street with all the soulfulness and depth of Billie Holiday, Ma Rainey, or Etta James.

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