I attended my first Cattle Barons’ Saturday night. I’d planned a trip for the weekend to float the river, but the strong storms across East Texas last week severely flooded the Guadalupe to the extent that no river floating will be happening for awhile. I’ve wanted to attend the gala ever since I had moved to Tyler nine years ago and this year I was finally able to go.
The event was held at The Park of East Texas between Hwy 31 and Hwy 64. After making our way down the dusty trail we parked and entered the party. It was set up much like a carnival. I am not sure what I was expecting, but this wasn’t really it. The Horseshoe Casino had a gaming tent with blackjack, roulette, a football throwing game and a wine toss. Oh, and a mechanical bull. Across from the Horseshoe tent was the auction tent which housed the numerous things up for silent auction and there was food and drinks a plenty.
A decent distance from the tents stood the stage where Lee Ann Womack would perform later in the evening. After making our rounds and taking in the sights we got in line for some food. The food turned out to be my favorite thing about the whole ordeal. There were pork sliders, burger sliders, avocado halves, barbeque ribs, brisket, sausage, potato salad, fried mushrooms, sweet potato fries, enchiladas, tamales, ice cream, strawberry cobbler plus much more. Everything I ate was fantastic. The food was provided by Eddie Dean’s catering, and those guys did an amazing job. I seriously went back for more food maybe four times. Yikes, so much for my summer diet!
Once it was time for Lee Ann to take the stage many people began wandering over to that area. She sounded incredible and put on a good show. By the time she was done it was about time to wrap things up and head home. I think it was around 11:30 at this point which is way past my bed time. Overall my first Cattle Barons’ experience was a great one. I saw lots of good friends, ate lots of good food, and finally got to see firsthand what all the fuss is about surrounding the event.
The Park of East Texas
2112 W. Front Street
Tyler, TX 75702