After months of cold, rainy weather, Friday and Saturday saw a glimpse of what spring can bring to the south; hot, dry weather. And just in time for this year’s 52nd Cowboy Homecoming and Turn N Burn Cook Off event at the Pleasanton River Park! This year’s event was as much a success as last year’s when the two events came together for the first time. Numerous out of towners and locals came out to celebrate this huge event for the second year in a row. There were plenty of free events for people of all ages to come out and enjoy.
Almost 150 BBQ teams competed in the Turn N Burn Cook Off, attracting hundreds of people to the park for one of the biggest cook offs in the nation. Turn N Burn is a fun-filled, tough competition where the best of the best from all over come out and cook their grills to perfection for one of the largest cook off payouts in the nation. Up to 500 judges were needed to help decide who was the best out of the 147 teams going head to head.
This year’s Little Mr. and Miss Cowboy Homecoming took place on Friday evening. Jakub James Swick was named Little Mr. Cowboy Homecoming and Carlie Christine Mejia was named Little Miss Cowboy Homecoming. Elvira Violet McKeon was named the Overall Winner of the Lil’ Darlings Contest held on Saturday afternoon and also won Most Beautiful in the 12 months to 2 years old category.
The 2018 Cowboy Homecoming Queen, or should I say Queens, Aubrey and Amber Guerra were crowned by 2017 Cowboy Homecoming Queen Abigail Ortiz. Abigail then crowned the rest of the court – Bobbie Rice, Bailey Lopez, Perri Alexander and Megan Huizar.
Friday evening saw The Mike Knapp Band opening for Pleasanton natives The Hill Brothers consisting of brothers Preston, Wade and Adam Hill. Saturday saw The Mike Knapp Band performing again that afternoon followed by LC Rocks hitting the stage as the opening act later that evening. Saturday night’s headliner consisted of Koe Wetzel and his band bringing their unique country sound to Cowboy Homecoming.
The Wild Bill Cowboy Gallop saw 71 runners register and run Saturday morning in the 5K race. For the first time ever, the parade made its way through the town into Pleasanton River Park, bringing more people to the festivities. The carnival was in full swing beginning on Thursday night and running through Sunday evening.
The Pleasanton Rotary Club’s Cow Patty Bingo was popular once again, with Jan Cantabury, an out of town BBQ cooker, taking the $1,000 prize.
Successful for the second year in a row was the free Doc’s Kiddie Corral, sponsored by Dr. Michael McFarland and hosted by the Pleasanton Express. Kids ages 2-10 enjoyed the free games, prizes, photo booth and various activities available to them.
The KidsQue proved to be popular once again as children ages 5-17 were provided pork chops to prepare. Once again, the fellowship amongst barbecue teams proved to be valuable as teams cheered for one another at the BBQ Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening.
Please see the photo collage in this issue of the Pleasanton Express for memories of the 52nd Cowboy Homecoming and Turn N Burn.