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MARBLE FALLS — Whether a cook or just an eater, the 10th annual Hill Country BBQ Cook-off has something for you, even if you’re a youngster looking to enjoy a day at the park.

“Yeah, everybody’s welcome,” said Wilson Harris. He and his wife, Katy Harris, are the organizers behind this event. Katy started the cook-off 10 years ago and Wilson jumped in to help her out.

The cook-off, slated for March 21-22 at Westside Park, 1206 Second St., will draw 40 to 50 teams. Registration starts up at 10 a.m. March 21 so competitors can sign in and pick their campsites. The cooking actually begins March 22 with judging at 11 a.m.

Wilson pointed out there’s always a need for judges.

“If you’re interested in judging, just come on up and let us know,” he said.

But you don’t have to be a judge or even a cook to enjoy the day. Barbecue competitors from across the area and the state will be participating in the Lone Star BBQ Society-sanctioned event. This means teams can earn points in the organization’s overall standings.

So people can bet those cooks will be putting their best barbecue forward. And how does that help the non-cooking attendee?

“Well, after they enter their chicken for judging, you can just go by and ask them if you can try some of their chicken,” Wilson said. “So sure, you’ll be able to try some of the barbecue.”

Barbecue competitions are a growing endeavor. Wilson used to compete, but he and his wife now organize this cook-off and serve as judging coordinators for other events.

Still, he pointed out, barbecue cook-offs bring together some great things: good people and good food.

“You really can’t go wrong,” Wilson said.

Along with the barbecue, people can check out the various cooking rigs. Some of them, you’ll find, are very elaborate. There’s a team from the Austin area that built a cooker out of a large trash receptacle (a new one).

“It’s definitely something to see,” Wilson said.

Since the cook-off is at Westside Park, the entire family can enjoy the day, even if the kids simply want to head for the playscape.

Some of the proceeds from the event benefit the Highland Lakes Crisis Center. To get involved in the barbecue cook-off or learn more about the event, call Wilson Harris at (830) 385-4325 or Katy Harris at (830) 385-4197.

Other upcoming barbecue cook-offs in the area include:

  • Rib-Alicious cook-off, April 4-5 at Tottie’s, 806 Main St. in Marble Falls
  • 20th annual Bar-B-Q State Championship at Howdy-Roo, May 3 at Johnson Park, 230 S. Ave. J in Marble Falls
  • Spicewood CASI Chili/Lonestar BBQ Cook-Off, May 23-25 at 128 Spur 191 in Spicewood

Go to for more information on barbecue cook-offs and upcoming competitions.