After record turnout, BBQ Fest will return to Lockhart


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

Texas Monthly’s annual BBQ Fest was such a hit in its first year in Lockhart that it plans on returning in November for another two-day event.

Melissa Reese of Texas Monthly said she met people at the Nov. 5-6 BBQ World’s Fair that were from as far away as England and Seattle, Washington.

Councilmember Jeffrey Michelson said he met some people from Houston while standing in line on Saturday at the World’s Fair that were going back to Houston that Saturday evening to watch the Astros play, then returning to Lockhart the next day for the Top 50 Picnic.

Texas Monthly admitted to some things that it will try to tweak before the next event, but most problems arose due to the amount of people that turned out.

Councilmember Kara McGregor said there were too many people for the number of vendors on hand at the Saturday World’s Fair.

Reese said about 5,000 attendees were on hand Saturday in downtown Lockhart, while another 4,000 came on Sunday.

“It was a larger event than our previous events in Austin,” Reese said. “Ticket sales increased 30 percent over 2019, which was the last time the event was held. The park was an amazing venue.

“There were 22 local happenings, which was collaborating with businesses around the square, we had 21 sponsors, and eight weekend musical acts. All of these numbers are way more than we’ve done in the past. It was our biggest Barbecue Fest to date.”

Reese noted that 42 of the top 50 BBQ barbecue restaurants in Texas appeared.

More than $41,000 was raised for Feeding Texas.

“Several pitmasters commented that Lockhart was really special and that they were really happy with the decision to have the event here,” Reese said.

 “I thought it was everything we thought it could be,” Lockhart Mayor Lew White said. “We were proud to continually be recognized as the Barbecue Capital of Texas. We talked to people from Texas and surrounding states that had a wonderful time. We had wonderful weather. Saturday was a tremendous success topped off by the drone show.”

Reese said she hoped to improve ticketing and check-in times and added that seating and shade at the park must improve.

In other business:

A Certificate of Recognition was presented to Calvary Church for serving as a Warming Center during the arctic blast in December 2022.

“During this last spell of cold weather, (Calvary Church) opened their doors and provided a warming station for people to get out of dangerous weather,” Mayor Lew White said. “They provided cots and blankets.”

At east six individuals took advantage of the Warming Station, where they were fed and given warm clothing.

Council unanimously approved Marcia Proctor be moved from an alternate member to a regular member on the Zoning Board of Adjustment due to a resignation with a term to expire in November

Also unanimously approved by Council was an immediate annexation of 92.52 acres in Caldwell County located near the Industrial Park on the east side of Lay Road. The property will most likely become zoned as residential medium density.

City Manager’s Steve Lewis noted the city has offered a free Christmas tree recycling program for a number of years. People can contact Public Works at 512-398-6462. The city asks that tree’s ornaments be removed prior to pick up. The programs is available through January.
City offices will be closed in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Monday, Jan. 16. Trash services will continue as regularly scheduled.

The city has closed on the sale of 13.6 acres to Titan Development in Lockhart Industrial Park III on SH 130. Titan plans to build a 167,000 square foot building for warehousing, manufacturing, or distribution companies.

Wednesday was deadline for applications for Police Chief. Lewis said the city had received 10 or 11 applications through Monday.


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