Yeehaw! I am not really a country music fan. Like most little girls, especially in Texas, I did grow up with a fondness for horses but I was never really drawn to the rodeo. Until I discovered free beer and barbecue at the BBQ Cook off at the Star of Texas Rodeo. I have to say it again, FREE BEER AND BARBECUE. I love Texas!
In addition to the livestock show, roping competitions, and carnival rides, a couple dozen teams compete in the annual barbecue cookoff. They set up their smokers and in a few cases elaborate tents meant to draw in the public to taste their wares. There are actual judges for different categories such as best brisket and best beans but the public gets to vote as well with their dollars into tip jars that go towards the Austin Rodeo Scholarship fund. Many of the venues hand out beer, wine, even jello shots to raise money.
This Saturday a final bitter winter wind blew into Austin on the first day of Spring. The whipping wind may have discouraged some from attending but by 3:00PM most of the tents were packed with patrons enjoying the live music as well as the food and drinks. The La Pasadita tent pictured above is always one of the favorites. Maybe it was all the free beer but I found myself returning again and again to this tent for the tasty brisket, crispy fried catfish, and the great entertainment from LC Rocks.
Despite the chill in the air, the rodeo means spring festival season in Austin is upon us. Look for me at Reggae Fest, Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Fest, and, of course, Eeyore’s Birthday Party. And for those of you visiting for SXSW, try and make it out of downtown and come to the rodeo next year!