LHLA Board finalizes plans for BBQ Cook-off July 26-27

The new Board of Directors of the Liberty Hill Livestock Association is preparing for the BBQ Cook-off, which will be held July 26-27 in Briggs.  From left are Cook-off Organizer Jason LaDuque, Bobby Maynard and Harold Faurie of End of the Trail Ranch, LHLA President Harold Simpson and Board members Jennifer Frazier, Tracy Becker and Lorie Lee. (Photo by Shelly Wilkison)

The new Board of Directors of the Liberty Hill Livestock Association is preparing for the BBQ Cook-off, which will be held July 26-27 in Briggs. From left are Cook-off Organizer Jason LaDuque, Bobby Maynard and Harold Faurie of End of the Trail Ranch, LHLA President Harold Simpson and Board members Jennifer Frazier, Tracy Becker and Lorie Lee. (Photo by Shelly Wilkison)

Volunteers on the Board of Directors for the Liberty Hill Livestock Association are busy preparing for the upcoming BBQ Cook-off.

The Board met last week to finalize plans with owners of the cook-off’s new venue — End of the Trail Ranch in Briggs.

The BBQ Cook-off, a fundraiser for FFA and 4-H students in Liberty Hill, will be July 26-27 at the End of the Trail Ranch, 16 miles north of Liberty Hill on US Highway 183 in Briggs. If approaching from Seward Junction, look for event signs and turn right at CR 218.

Harold Faurie, owner of End of the Trail Ranch, said the 300-acre outdoor concert and special event venue will open for the first time for the Cook-off.

The facility boasts indoor restrooms, an outdoor stage and dance floor and an air-conditioned judging area.

“We’re proud to be the venue for the BBQ Cook-off,” said Faurie. “This will give us a chance to show off our facilities for a very good cause — to help the kids.”

The Livestock Association is scaling down the annual cook-off in its new venue in Burnet County. Organizers say they expect about 75 cooking teams compared to more than 150 in 2012. That year, the event raised more than $27,000 for the organization, which was used to purchase livestock for local students.

Also different this summer, will be the absence of a carnival.

Cooking teams will still be able to bring in their own alcohol.

The Association chose to move the event to Burnet County after learning that a state Mass Gathering Permit would have been required to hold the event in Williamson County this year. It would have been too costly to meet the requirements of the permit as enforced by Williamson County, organizers said.

Simpson said a mass gathering permit will not be required in the event’s new venue. Because there will be fewer cookers and no carnival, attendance is expected to be down from the estimated 2,500 people who attended in 2012.

Faurie said off-duty law enforcement officers will be providing security.

The Cook-off will be open from 6 p.m. to Midnight on Friday, July 26; and all day Saturday, July 27. Judging begins at 11 a.m. Saturday with award presentation scheduled about 7 p.m.

Teams interested in entering the cook-off will pay a $100 entry fee for three meat categories; $15 for beans and $15 for desserts — a contest new to the cook-off this year.

The Cook-off is sanctioned by the Central Texas Barbecue Association and entry forms may be downloaded from the website at www.ctbabbq.com.

For more information about the LHLA BBQ Cook-off, contact Jason LaDuque at jladuque.lhla@gmail.com.