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Hot and cold on the Comstock

Staff Report

Virginia City event organizer Jett Aguilar is trying a new event that combines two traditional tastes of summer – barbecue and ice cream.

Aguilar, who is also president of the city’s chamber of commerce, said she wanted to try a family-friendly event that hadn’t been done here before and was traditional.

She came up with “Chillin’ & Grillin’ on the Comstock,” a barbecue and ice cream competition set for Saturday in the Bucket of Blood Parking Lot on C and Union streets in the center of town. Local restaurants will also have barbecue outside their businesses on C Street.

“We wanted to do something that was different and fun, that we hadn’t done before, to see how it works,” she said.

The organizers also had to make some last-minute changes to the event.

Originally, she said, the plan was to have a competition for the best homemade ice cream, but that didn’t work out, as she couldn’t find competitors.

“I guess making your own ice cream is a thing of the past,” she said.

So local and regional ice cream shops have contributed their best flavors and the public will get a chance to taste and vote for their favorites.

Ice cream lovers will buy taste tickets for $3, and will be given a cup, spoon and ballot. After they taste each entry, they vote on the top three.

For the barbecue, there are no restrictions. Barbecue cooks can grill what they like and set their own prices. It’s not a competition, Aguilar said, just a lot of outdoor grilling. Among the offerings will be steak, chicken and hot dogs.

Aguilar admitted she had no idea how the new event would turn out, but knowing Americans love ice cream and barbecue, “we should do all right.” She said it’s important for the historic mining town to try new things to attract visitors.

“We thought August was a slow month for things we can do for our tourists that would be fun and would fit in with the way it was in the past,” she said.

If you go

What: Chillin’ & Grillin’ on the Comstock

When: noon Saturday

Where: C Street, Virginia City, ice cream at the Bucket of Blood parking lot

Cost: Taste tickets are $3, grillin’ prices by establishment