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South Texas Living

Brisket, ribs, chicken ... and gators?

Brisket, ribs, chicken ... and gators?
Chad Windham — Gary Saurage of CMT’s “Gator 911” built a reservation for snakes, alligators and crocodiles. His crew will be part of the line-up in the La Vernia City Park this weekend.

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August 6, 2014
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It’s August, the kids are preparing to go back to school, and that can mean only one thing: It’s barbecue cook-off time in La Vernia!

The 13th annual La Vernia BBQ Cook-off takes place Friday and Saturday, Aug. 8-9, in the La Vernia City Park. This fund-raiser, sponsored by the Greater La Vernia Parks Foundation, is an IBCA-sanctioned cook-off, drawing teams from across the Lone Star State and further afield, to vie for the titles of best ribs, chicken, and brisket.

Family-friendly fun abounds, with live music, craft and food vendors, and fun for all ages. New this year will be the folks from CMT’s “Gator 911.” The TV show features conservationist Gary Saurage, owner of Beaumont’s Gator Country Gator Rescue. He and his crew take the animals on the road, with La Vernia being on its list of special events and appearances.

“This may be the first time alligators have been spotted in La Vernia,” said parks foundation board member Shirley Stanush.

She’s excited for everyone to enjoy this signature event.

“... I still remember the first one like it was yesterday, and that was over 13 years ago,” she said. “Seeing all of the people and families come to something that you helped to create is very rewarding.”

Proceeds from this event go toward improvements in the city park. Past proceeds have gone toward a playscape, fencing, the gazebo, and more.

For information, visit or

13th annual La Vernia BBQ Cook-Off

La Vernia City Park

Schedule of Events

Thurs., Aug. 8

Gates open 6 pm


Bean Judging 8 pm

Fri., Aug. 9

Gates open 3 pm

Arts & Crafts, Food Booths


Kids Cook Judging 7:30 pm

Cooks Choice Judging 8:30 pm

Dance - Johnny Kiser 8 pm

Sat., Aug. 10

Gates open 9 am

Arts & Crafts, Food Booths

Carnival 10:00 am

Car Show Judging 12 pm

Horseshoe Tournament 10 am

Washer Tournament following Horseshoes

Cow Patty Plop 1 pm

Gator Show 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 pm

South Texas Gunslingers 12, 1:30, 3, 4:30 pm

Auction 1 pm

BBQ Cook-Off Judging

Chicken 11 am

Ribs 1 pm

Brisket 3 pm

Dance - Natalie Rose, Bleu Edmondson 8, 10:30 pm

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