Texas Monthly plans to improve upon BBQ Fest and World’s Fair
By Kyle Mooty
A representative from Texas Monthly discussed how the terrific turnout for the Barbecue Festival and World’s Fair that took place last year in Lockhart also caused some issues, things the group hopes to improve upon for the next event planned later this year (Nov 4-5).
Melissa Reese, Events Director for Texas Monthly, addressed the Lockhart City Council last week, noting a lot of things went “really well” in its first trip to Lockhart, but added that other matters needed improving.
“I think the overall hours worked well to have it finish before sunset,” Reese said. “We are focusing on the ticket structure and the timing of how we get people to the event.”
Crowd control, Reese said, was an issue that needed adjusting.
“The biggest change on Saturday is going to be the restructuring of the ticket component,” Reese said. “Knowing what happened last year we can tweak some of the areas that need improvement and have a very successful event again.”
Texas Monthly has increased its budget to have more vendors at the Saturday event open to the public.
Mayor Lew White told Reese the Drone Show in 2022 was a big hit and hoped it would return. While Reese said the show was performed by a sponsor of the event, she would encourage them to do so again.
The hours and concept of last year’s two-day event will remain the same, although Reese said they are looking into having some local musical acts on hand, they are looking at more seating and shade options for the Sunday ticketed event at Lockhart City Park, and perhaps adding more non-alcoholic options.
In other business:
Councilmembers agreed unanimously to allow another natural gas franchise, Universal Gas Company, in Lockhart. Construction will begin as early as July in several parts of the city.
Two proclamations were read by White, one noting Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Representatives of CASA and Hays County Women’s Center were on hand.
Mayor White said 62,525 cases of child abuse and neglect were confirmed in Texas in 2022 resulting in 9,623 children in foster care in Texas and the death of 165 children. He said there were 119 children confirmed as victims of abuse in Caldwell County.
White also said 6.3 million Texans had experienced some form of sexual assault in their lifetime, and that two in five women and one and five men had experienced some type of sexual assault in their lifetime.
White also said the city had enjoyed the opening of Little League and Softball, KidFish, the Greater Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Gala, 50 Lions Who Can Cook, and Sip & Stroll all within a recent two-week period.
“Our city was just alive the last two weeks,” White said. “We had so many events. There were people all over town. I met people from Minnesota who had come down. They’d heard about the Sip & Stroll. It was a beautiful day. More than 25 stores participated. It was a great day to get out around the square.”