Llano rodeo, parade return with new cook-off this weekend

JARED FIELDS • PICAYUNE STAFF

LLANO — The classic favorites, and something new, are back for the Llano Open/Pro Rodeo on June 6-7.

In addition to the 79th annual Llano County Rodeo Parade, the dances and the bucking bulls and broncs, there also will be a barbecue cook-off.

The Lone Star Barbecue Society-sanctioned cook-off is June 6-7 at Robinson Park, located next to the rodeo at the Llano Events Center, 2200 RR 152, and serves as a fundraiser for the Llano Volunteer Fire Department.

“We only have one benefit a year, a fish fry, and we kicked around the idea to do a barbecue,” firefighter Joey Gunnels said. “(The department) said to run with it, so we did.”

Check-in is June 6 with a dance open to the public that features Allen Ray and the Southern Comfort Band. Brisket, chicken and pork ribs will be judged June 7. The entry fee is $100 for a team of four with an 80 percent payback to the top three in each category.

Contact Gunnels at (405) 328-4348 or jgunnels@verizon.net or go to www.lonestarbarbecue.com for more on the cook-off.

The band plays at the Events Center on June 7 after the rodeo that evening.

The rodeo grand entry is 7:30 p.m. each night with mutton bustin’ for the kids first. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for kids to attend the rodeo and dance.

The annual rodeo parade begins at 10 a.m. June 7 and goes around the courthouse square. Afterward is a barbecue fundraiser by Boy Scout Troop 301 on the square.

As for the rodeo, events will go as scheduled — rain or shine.

“Each year, I think it gets better and better not having to worry about the weather,” said community center board member Kim Webb. The covered center will have concessions but no vendors, she said.

“Due to construction, we won’t have vendors. Next year, the new addition will be completed, and they should be back,” Webb said.

A 25,000-square-foot show barn is under construction at the events center, she said.

Gunnels said the department expects 15-20 teams to compete in the cook-off. For Webb, the city hopes it’s another way to get people to the rodeo.

“We’re just trying to work together to get more people to go down to the rodeo and get involved with the rodeo,” she said.

Go to www.llanochamber.org for more information.

jared@thepicayune.com