Cook-Off full, town ready and waiting

Only four days remain before Brady and McCulloch County open the 28th Annual World Championship Barbeque Goat Cook-Off festivities’a Labor Day tradition that’s put Brady and McCulloch County on the map. It’s one of the most anticipated events in this region of Texas and visitors have traveled from as far as Canada to make an appearance and take in all the Cook-Off event has to offer. According to the Brady/McCulloch County Chamber of Commerce, the backbone and support line of the annual festival, no cooker or arts and crafts vendor spaces remain for this weekend’s Labor Day festivities. “This year’s event is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever,” said Chamber EVP DeLaine Poe. “We are steadily getting calls from people looking for a place to stay; however, all the motels are already booked. “We’ve had people that have never sponsored before that are already wanting sponsorship packets for next year. That’s exactly what we need. That’s how this event continues to grow.” The event will kick off early at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Richards Park in Brady with arts and crafts vendor setup. Booths will open at 9 a.m. At Brady High School, Goat Gallop registration will be held from 6:45-7:45 a.m. with the 5K (3.1 mile) run scheduled to kick off at 8 a.m. Registration for horseshoe pitching and washer pitching will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will continue through 9:30 a.m. when the horseshoe pitching contest is set to get underway. The washer pitching contest will follow at 10 a.m. Other games throughout the day will include a goat pill flipping contest (begins at 10 a.m.), an egg toss (starts at 11 a.m.) and a water balloon toss (begins at 1 p.m.) The traditional goat meal sponsored by the Chamber will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The cost of the meal is $6 per plate and that includes a drink and all the trimmings. Goat Cook-Off judges will be introduced at 3:30 p.m. and the first call to turn in goat will be made. The final call will come at 4 p.m. The judging of the meat will continue through 5 p.m. when the winners will be announced. The celebration will continue Saturday night around the courthouse square as crowds line the streets to “scoot-a-boot” to music by Sonny Burgess. The annual street dance, held in conjunction with the Cook-Off, is scheduled from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Labor Day festivities will conclude on Sunday morning following a traditional Cowboy Church service featuring Crystal Lyons at the show barn in Richards park. The service is set to begin at 10 a.m. and everyone is invited to attend. Aside from local media coverage, this year the cook-off will reach an entirely different audience via the television set. As a continual goal to promote and market Brady and the Heart of Texas, C-C executive vice president DeLaine Poe began contacting various television stations and shows about attending the event. Several shows that broadcast to a nationwide audience, have expressed interest in coming to Brady. On Monday, Mrs. Poe confirmed that the nationwide newspaper USA Today will publish an article on Thursday featuring Brady’s 28th Annual World Championship Barbeque Goat Cook-Off. “We are doing our best to get the word out and make this cook-off one of the ‘not-to-miss’ events of the year,” said Poe. One scheduled activity for people of all ages will have people lined up ready to take-on a mechanical bull. The event is being sponsored by the Brady High School freshman class. The rock climbing wall from last year’s cook-off and the four point trapeze that was at the car swap meet will also make their way back to Brady for the weekend. A petting zoo, which will include a camel, Axis deer, llama, buffalo, sheep, antelope, and other exotic animals has been added to Saturday’s list of attractions as well. A new addition this year designed to help market local businesses will be the Business Showcase. This area will be available on a first come, first served basis for 14 local chamber members. For $75, businesses can set up a booth in a designated area and market themselves or their products. For more information about this weekend’s Labor Day festivities or to purchase Goat Cook-Off apparel, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 915-597-3491 or stop by 101 East First Street in Brady.

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