A Banner Year for Red Dirt
Another fantastic Red Dirt weekend has come and gone. The fourth annual fest sold out faster than ever and benefited from great weather, providing barbecue and music fans with a great day of entertainment. Situated in the northeast Texas town of Tyler the event draws fans from all across Texas, with the concert a big enough event that thousands of concert-only tickets are also sold.
Each year I try and plan to stay through the concerts but most years I have petered out before the end of the night. Last year Leslye and I made it through multiple bands and immensely enjoyed the concerts but this time we were wore out enough that we called it early. We missed event coordinator Chase Colston proposing to Jenna Plude (she said yes) which looked to be an amazing moment.
Among the more standard (for Texas) options there were a few treats. Roegel’s Barbecue Co. cooked up two whole hogs, Meat Church added a deep fried burnt end to their arsenal, and Black’s Barbecue sandwiched a slice of sausage between a mini donut. You can call it a donut hole if you want. Return favorites included Louie Mueller beef ribs, Lockhart Smokehouse prime rib, and Slow Bone’s brisket and pimento cheese sliders with chimichurri. Opie’s returned as the farthest distanced barbecue, bringing a refreshing slaw to their consistently good brisket. The event was heavy on meat and I did wish for a little more in the way of side options but onsite vendors included snow cones and Dippin Dots to help offset the meats, peppers, and salts. Truth Barbecue impressed plenty of folks who had not yet heard of them.
One of the many things I enjoy about this festival are the non food related vendors and participants who provided free swag. It was easy to fill up a (free) tote bag with koozies, key chains, bottle openers, and much more. Special thanks to Prosperity Bank who handed out free ice cold water.
Beer prices were reasonable at $5, but this year a new concept was had. For $15 one could enter a craft beer tent and consume multiple samples from a number of craft breweries. I really wanted to imbibe but I was focused on photos and eating so I had to pass by.
While some booths ran out of food before the final minute of the official barbecue time slot ended, a few were still offering up free samples once the first band, Flatland Calvary, had taken the stage.
BBQ On the Brazos
Bet the House BBQ
Louie Mueller Barbecue
Micklethwait Craft Meats
Roegels Barbecue Co.
Schmidt Family Barbecue
Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ
Sitles Switch BBQ & Brew
The Slow Bone
Cody Canada and The Departed
Shane Smith & The Saints