The fourth annual Cookin’ on the Clark Fork BBQ Cook-off and Brewfest is Saturday, July 27, in Deer Lodge, Montana from noon to 7 p.m.
Downtown Main Street will be closed to traffic for the family-friendly festivities that offer ample opportunities to sample some of the best BBQ and brews in the area, listen or dance to the music of live bands, visit vendors and enjoy various activities for all ages.
Saturday will begin with “Hoofin’ it on the Ranch” 3K, 5K and 10K races starting at 8 a.m. at the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site parking lot on North Main across from the fairgrounds. All participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt. Pre-register on the website or register in person Saturday morning at the race site beginning at 7 a.m. (call Bob Rase, 406-490-0662, or Melissa Gallagher, 406-498-4144).
Show up early and get acquainted with the cooks as they demonstrate their BBQ expertise. Judging begins at 11 a.m. for chicken, pork, pork ribs, beef brisket, burger and an open category (any item that is grilled, like pizza, oysters, or corn on the cob). At noon, cooks will begin serving samples and meals to the public using a token system.
All cooks are welcome whether they have competed before or not. If you have been told you make pretty good BBQ, plan to join the fun!
Winning cooks will receive trophies and cash prizes. Cooks must enter four of the six categories to qualify for grand or reserve champion, but can do one or two categories if they want. A People’s Choice trophy is also awarded (call Terry Jennings, 406-498-4877, or Mike Blakeley, 406-846-4660).
At the Brewfest, buy a souvenir glass and tokens to sample the craft beer selection created by a number of area breweries that is sure to please just about everyone.
Vendors will offer arts, crafts, collectibles and food (call Julie Schroder 406-560-5006 or Mike Blakeley 406-846-4660). Free games, crafts and activities provide plenty of fun for kids from toddlers to age 12; there will also be activities for teens and adults.
According to committee co-chairman Michael Stafford, “This event has been growing each year. The BBQ and Brewfest are fantastic and there’s something for everyone. Whether you just want to come to the event for a little while and grab a bite to eat or stay the whole afternoon, people are sure to enjoy it.”
The committee works hard to make this a successful family-friendly event and invites people to visit Deer Lodge to join in the fun as well as visit other attractions in town. The event is under the non-profit Discover Deer Lodge Economic Development Group.
– Pat Hansen