More than 255,000 people turned out for barbecue, music and good times at Reliant Park this past weekend for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's World Championship Bar-B-Que Contest.
It was a new attendance record for the annual event, up 4.5% from last year's total of 244,000 participants. The contest, sometimes called Cookoff, marks the traditional start of the Rodeo season each year. This year it was held February 23-25.
A total of 431 barbecue entries from 263 teams spanning the state and beyond participated in the 2012 World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, competing in different categories and for the coveted title of Overall Grand Champion.
The winners announced on Saturday Feb. 25 were:
- Overall Grand Champion - Motley Que Crew
- Champion Brisket - Keep'er Hot Cooking Team
- Champion Ribs - Houston Metro Go Texan 5 / Road Dog Cookers
- Champion Chicken - Motley Que Crew
- Go Texan Best Barbecue - Jasper County Area Go Texan
- Dutch Oven Dessert Contest - Swine-Os
- Most Colorful Team - Ram's Club
- Go Texan Most Colorful - Krazy Kookers
- Most Unique Pit - Pitmakers
- Best Team Skit - Pitmakers
- Cleanest Team Area - Ram's Club
- Go Texan Recycling - Calhoun County Area Go Texan
- Recycling - Blowin' Smoke
"It's been such an unbelievable time," said Overall Grand Champion chief cook, Matt Sprouls from Champaign, Ill. "All I can say is God bless Texas."
Now attention turns to the Rodeo itself, which kicks off Tuesday with the band Alabama performing. Rodeo runs through March 18 this year.
Yesterday, the Houston Museum of Natural Science gave media a sneak peek at its massive new Paleontology Hall set to open this summer.
Stretching the length of a football field with four gigantic levels, the Hall will double the museum's total space and add roughly 60,000 square feet of exhibit area. HMNS is already one of the most visited museum's in the Southwest. The expansion is expected to only add to that figure.
The new Paleo Hall will be packed with prehistoric dinosaurs and other beasts but not just lined up as you might find in other museums. These giants will be in action-chasing, eating and doing whatever else they would have done when they lived. Visitors will essentially go on a prehistoric safari, viewing scenes as they existed millions of years ago.
More than 60 major mounts will be part of the hall, including 30 dinosaurs in multiple action poses. From a T-Rex skeleton with actual patches of original skin (never before seen) to a well-preserved triceratops, visitors can expect an awe-inspiring experience.
"Houston is a great city, full of remarkable qualities, outstanding institutions, and exceptional people. Houstonians have an unabashed sense of pride and ownership in their city and what it offers," says Joel Bartsch, president of HMNS. "HMNS is a world-class institution, renowned for its exceptional collections, exhibits and programs." Bartsch says locals should feel a sense of pride and ownership for what HMNS offers. And he believes visitors and locals alike will appreciate this tremendous addition to the museum.
See a time lapse video of construction. And more images from the hall on our Facebook page.
We are proud to launch the new and improved VisitHouston.com!
For the past several months we've been hard at work completely restructuring and redesigning our site. We hope that you'll find the new site interesting, visually compelling and user-friendly. But most of all, we hope it helps provide you the information you need to make your trip to Houston more enjoyable.
If you have a moment, please let us know what you think of the new site – we’re always looking for ways to improve.