Something to talk about: goats and Koe

It was a hot, sticky August morning that Adam and I made our way to Brady with my parents' camper in tow, on our way to the 46th Annual World Championship BBQ Goat Cookoff.

The stretch of Highway 71 from Llano to Brady is possibly the longest 50-something miles, but with the company of my earbuds and a podcast (and my fun husband, of course) the time passed quickly. An added bonus was the west Texas air being considerably drier than the air 90 miles east.

We were soon setting up camp and preparing to go to the event and chow down on some slow cooked goat. Poor goats.

I have always had an affection for goats. I have never lived on a farm and know nothing about them, but their cute little faces and floppy ears have provided such delight for me, and one day I aspire to have a happy group of goats and cows as pets, along with 13 dogs and a couple of cats . . . one day.

The thought of eating a goat has always made me a little sad (just think of their big, shiny eyes and smiling faces!), so I had never tried it, but when we heard one of our favorite singers, Koe Wetzel, was scheduled for the cookoff's Sunday night entertainment, we immediately made plans to attend. And when in Rome. . .

The goat was tasty; I have seldom had a meat as tender, but I am just as happy eating chicken: a completely different animal, but one less friendly, so it feels a little more justified.

The cookoff is a very popular event in Brady, which started as a small cookoff in 1974. From a typical barbecue cookoff like those we all know and love, the World Championship BBQ Goat Cookoff has grown to consist of over 200 cooking teams, sprawling throughout the town's park, accompanied by vendors and various activities throughout Labor Day weekend. Add all that fun to live music, and you've got yourself a party.

Save for a few quick storms that blew through on Sunday, we had a great weekend. We added two commemorative koozies to our growing collection at home, sampled food from vendors, shopped for things we didn't need, and relaxed through our three-day weekend.

I was amazed at the size of the event, for a town just a little smaller than Burnet. Thousands of people showed up for the festivities, and even more piled into the park for Sunday's concert. I still don't understand how all those vehicles made it in to the parking lots.

The unmistakable smell of brand new leather boots and strong perfume filled the pasture as everyone filed in for Koe Wetzel's performance with their coolers and lawn chairs dragging behind.

The weekend drew many parallels to the local events Burnet holds each year, from barbecue cookoffs and festivals, to concerts and parties. Maybe it is the small town scene which makes these things so enjoyable to visitors and special to me, but whatever it is, I always leave happy and ready for the next one.

I learned three things this Labor Day weekend during our getaway:

1. If you are looking for an affordable, easy weekend vacation, the World Championship BBQ Goat Cookoff is a great option. Our weekend passes, concert included, were just $12 a piece!

2. Certain concert-goers spend an incredibly long time in Port-A-Potties, causing distress for others.

3. Texas country music and barbecue are a great pair (of course, this is already a well-known fact, but worth repeating).

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