Placita Brown Spring BBQ Cook-off

Hundreds of Del Rioans converged on Brown Plaza for the first “Placita Brown Spring BBQ Cook-off” in 2019. The event drew five out-of-town cooks and is expected to bring in more this year.

City council members have approved allocating $3,500 from hotel occupancy tax (HOT) monies to advertise a barbecue cook-off hosted by the Brown Plaza Association.

Members of the Del Rio City Council discussed the requested funding during their regular meeting Tuesday.

Councilwoman Diana Bejarano Salgado made the motion to approve an ordinance setting aside the $3,500 for the “2nd Annual Plazita Brown Spring BBQ.” Councilman Rowland Garza gave the second.

The cook-off is set for March 6 and March 7, and participants will vie in categories including brisket, chicken and pork spare ribs. The event includes a $5,000 pay-out.

Assistant Manager Manuel Chavez presented a memo to the council regarding the request for funding, noting, “The ‘Plazita Brown Spring BBQ Cook-Off’ brings competitors from surrounding areas to promote Del Rio and to educate the public about the history of Brown Plaza. The organization is expecting about 1,000 attendees to this event. The expectation is about 60 teams competing. The Brown Plaza Association is also planning to attract new teams to the competition by advertising out of town.”

Chavez said the $3,500 being requested by the Brown Plaza Association will be used for advertising the event.

The assistant city manager also told the council the city currently has $326,688 in its HOT fund account. That balance will go to $323,188 if the council approved the ordinance.

Councilwoman Liz Elizalde De Calderon asked if the city had helped fund the event last year.

“No, it was our first year, and we didn’t have any data (on out-of-town visitors),” Dolores Martinez, Brown Plaza Association treasurer, replied.

She added that last year, the event drew 43 participants, including five persons from out-of-town and their families.

“We felt that we had a good turnout for the first year, and we’re hoping to make it even better,” Martinez said.

Elizalde De Calderon asked which participant in last year’s event traveled the farthest to the contest, and Martinez said one cook came from Bastrop.

“This year, we currently have one participant registered who is coming from Lubbock,” Martinez added.

She added there will be food vendors present and she is looking for arts and crafts vendors.

The council approved the request unanimously.

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