Llano celebrates Western heritage with chuck-wagon cook-off, music and more

The Llano Heritage Weekend is Oct. 18-20 with events across town including a chuck-wagon cook-off, music stagecoach rides and more. Go to www.llanoheritagefestival.com for more information. File photo

JARED FIELDS • PICAYUNE STAFF

LLANO — Visitors to Llano on Oct. 18-20 might feel like they’ve transported back in time.

Between the stagecoaches, chuck-wagon cooks and wild cow milking, it’s difficult to argue against the idea.

Instead, the city is celebrating Llano Heritage Weekend with events all over town.

“The main event is Saturday, and that is the chuck-wagon meal and Heritage Day on the square,” said Doris Messer, community development director for the city of Llano.

The meal, which costs $15, features 12 chuck wagons this year at the Llano Events Center, 2200 RR 152. It was originally supposed to take place in Badu Park, but recent rains forced the event indoors. Cooks will compete in categories such as chuck-wagon authenticity, meat, beans, potatoes, bread and dessert.

“Every year it’s getting slimmer and slimmer,” Messer said of the number of chuck-wagon cooks, and not the portions. “It’s a dying art. For the folks that have chuck wagons, it’s a lot of work.”

The courthouse square will be bustling with activity starting at 9 a.m. with vendors, the Legends of Texas historical re-enactors and a quilt display.

A free street dance keeps the day going until almost midnight with musician Bobby Flores.

Also Saturday evening, starting at 6 p.m., is the Ranch Rodeo at the Llano Events Center. The rodeo features bronc riding, branding, mutton bustin’, team sorting, trailer loading and wild cow milking.

“It’s interesting to look at how folks work in the field,” Messer said.

One of the biggest events of the whole weekend might be unexpected.

“It may be the biggest draw this year … the Western Trappings (on the Llano),” she said. “Western trappings means any medium that shows a Western heritage. It could be bits, spurs, painting, clothing.”

More than 70 artists from 20 states and three countries have submitted items, Messer said.

The exhibition is displayed in the Llano County Museum, 310 Texas 16, and is free to the public beginning at 9 a.m. Oct. 19.

Visit www.llanoheritagefestival.com for more information on the weekend.

jared@thepicayune.com