Kick back and enjoy the food at the kickoff for the Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo
Kick off the 75th Annual Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo March 2 on Lady Bird Lake
Coverage of the Rodeo Austin Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo tends to get short shrift around our office because it happens to coincide with South by Southwest. But there are some mouthwatering culinary components to Austin's venerable rodeo extravaganza that are really worth checking out. The annual event commences early on a late winter morning with a hearty breakfast served up on the shores of Lady Bird Lake. The aroma of campfire smoke wafting over the lake always attracts an eclectic crowd to this free event. You're likely to see everyone from late-night club crawlers to wide-eyed school kids to suited Downtown business types, not to mention a good number of genuine cowboys. The cowboy breakfast bill of fare represents a true Texas culinary culture clash: biscuits and gravy, pancakes and sausage, breakfast tacos, kolaches, doughnuts, milk, juice, and coffee – all available in generous proportions. Seeing how it's an Austin event, there will be plenty of live music plus cowboys performing rope tricks and the opportunity to have a picture taken with a real Texas longhorn!
There are other food components to our annual rodeo celebration, once the big event begins in earnest on the grounds of the Travis County Exposition Center. Learn something about what cowboys ate on trail drives as Butch Dohmann presents daily demonstrations of authentic chuck wagon cooking, complete with samples. And barbecue aficionados will not want to miss the weekend barbecue cook-off, an invitation-only competition with more than 70 teams of accomplished traveling pit masters vying for cash prizes while feeding the crowd and raising money for the rodeo scholarship fund. Competition categories include brisket, ribs, beans, yard birds, Bloody Marys, jackpots (one-pot, casserole-type dishes), hospitality, and rig showmanship/decoration. A panel of judges awards prizes for the cooking, but the crowds vote on the hospitality award by making donations at their favorite booths, which means there will be plenty of showmanship along with all that great food.
Cowboy Breakfast: Friday, March 2, 6-9am at Auditorium Shores
Chuckwagons on the Trail: March 9-24, 11am, 12:30, 2:30, 4:30pm daily, Travis Co. Expo Center
BBQ Cook-off: Friday-Saturday, March 16-17, 10am-midnight, Travis Co. Expo Center
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