AUSTIN — Sunday was barbecue day in the state of Texas.
At least it was in Austin, Texas, where Texas Monthly magazine held its annual BBQ Fest with the state’s top barbecue joints in the house providing samples to people from all over.
Over 30 top vendors participated in the BBQ Fest, including Baker Boys Barbecue of Gonzales which was voted one of the state’s Top 50 BBQ places in the 2018 rankings.
On Saturday, Wayne Baker and family and friends traveled to the Long Center in Austin to begin preparations for the big event. An overnight rain left their BBQ area in a quagmire, but the Baker team persevered.
“We started smoking and cooking at 4 a.m.,” said Wayne Baker. “There were three inches of water where our booth was located, but eventually the area drained and dried out and we were okay.”
When the gates opened at 1 p.m., over 3000 ticket holders entered the grounds to sample brisket, sausage, chicken, turkey, rice and other barbecue delights. A variety of music acts were on the premises, and a sunny 75-degree day serenaded attendees.
“We did really well,” Wayne said. “We gave out over 2,000 samples, and people really enjoyed our food.
“We also found out that people didn’t know Gonzales had good barbecue, so they were surprised and happy to learn about us because many people travel through Gonzales on their way to the Coast.
“Hopefully, it will bring more people here and they will stop and spend more money around town.”
Baker said the weather, the friendliness of attendees, and the cooperativeness of the vendors made the entire event a huge success.
“It was probably one of the biggest honors and best of experiences of my life,” said Baker. “We really enjoyed being able to represent Gonzales and hopefully we are able to get more people into town.”