GONZALES — Come and Take It has come and gone, and the early reports point to a rousing success. The rains mostly stayed away and events from the parade to the nighttime dances rolled on without incident.
The festival began on Friday evening with the sounds of DJ Richter and didn't end until late Sunday when the final tuba blast from the Shiner Hobo Band fell silent. In between was a very successful festival, organizer said.
Over at the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday— the unofficial headquarters of the event — bags of swag and barrels of beverages spilled out of the conference room as a still sleepy staff undertook a post-mortem report of their work. Exact numbers of the money raised for the various non-profit organizations that took part were not available yet, but it was assured that this was going to be a successful year.
“I would like to thank all of the volunteers for all the hard work they did and to the Come and Take It committee for all they do all year leading up to the event,” said CTI President Keith Schauer. He said that he was as tired as the rest of the crew, but that he would be back for another year once the dust settled.
A few numbers that were already available: the tally for CTI royal court topped 587 votes, the parade had 127 entries, 110 vendors has set up shop around the Old Jail Museum, CTI merchandise sales were robust, food ticket sales were up, and 35 fowl with 50 contestants participated in the venerable chicken flying contest, which even had a celebrity entrant with Comedy Central's Jordan Klepper trying his hand, er, plunger at the hometown tradition.
Klepper was in town to document the militia groups that have taken a shine to the Come and Take It brand, peddling their messages of secession and self-carry weaponry to the families that gathered to watch the usually jovial procession of marching groups, senior citizen floats, and beauty queens. It is unclear when his episode will air.
The next round of Come and Take It is scheduled for Oct. 4-6, 2019.