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Locopops' Pop Art contest

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If a popsicle stand can attain celebrity status, Durham-based Locopops has done it. The company's logo—three smiling 'sicles—appears on bumper stickers around the Triangle. But their fame has spread beyond our borders, from a 2007 National Public Radio spot to a nod in this month's Details magazine, which deemed Locopops the "ace of ice."

This month, Locopops boosts its star appeal with a Pop Art contest. Three Locopops locations (2600 Hillsborough Road, Durham; 231 S. Elliott Road, Chapel Hill; and 1908 Hillsborough St., Raleigh; www.ilovelocopops.com) will accept entries through Aug. 22.

To enter, download and print an outline of one of Locopops' signature 'sicle shapes from its website, or pick up an entry sheet at a Locopops. Then, with crayons or what have you (the contest has three age categories: under 8 years old, 9 to 14 and 15 and older), render the pop form as your favorite pop star. A panel of judges led by local artist Galia Goodman will select favorite entries. Finalists will be displayed at Locopop shops, and visitors can vote through Sept. 6. In addition to bragging rights and a Locopops T-shirt, the best pop artists will receive a set of the frozen goods: 30 pops for first place, 10 for second and 5 for third.

For more competition and a good cause, take stock of your coffee-brewing skills and clear your schedule at 7 p.m. Thursday for the Brew Down at Counter Culture's Coffee Training Center (4911 S. Alston Ave., Durham, 361-5282, www.counterculturecoffee.com). Be aware that the event requires skills way beyond the push of an "on" button. Competitors will use nine styles of brewing in an attempt to create the best cup of coffee: from a French press to a Chemex, and a Bonmac drip cone to the Clever Coffee Dripper. Mark Overbay, marketing and communications manager for Counter Culture, says this is the first multimethod coffee brewing competition of its kind in the United States. The contests have become popular in Japan and Europe.

Brewers will face off two at a time in each round, and a coin toss will designate who first chooses the brewing method.

"Each method is unique and requires a different set of skills to master, but the coin toss presents an X-factor that requires competitors to be comfortable with multiple brewing methods," Overbay says.

Registration fee is $5, and participants can sign up at the event. Spectators are admitted free. Expect food and drinks from Counter Culture. Other sponsors include Toast, Dolly Mama Handmade Chocolates and Wine Authorities. Proceeds will benefit the EarthShare Gulf Coast Restoration Fund.

Also in Durham, check out the recently reopened King's Sandwich Shop (701 Foster St., Durham, 682-0071, www.kingssandwichshop.com). The small sandwich shack, which originally opened in 1942 and closed in 2007, began serving its traditional menu of hot dogs and hamburgers again a little more than a week ago.

Know about a fun food happening in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at food@indyweek.com.

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