Shawn Fullerton, of Leander, seen through an arch of balanced rocks, works on his own small stack at the 2016 Llano Earth Art Fest. Nell Carroll/AMERICAN-STATESMAN


Rock towers will rise again along the Llano River this weekend, as the World Rock Stacking Championships get under way in a Hill Country town best known for barbecue and deer hunting.

The competition highlights the Llano Earth Art Fest, a down-to-earth celebration of rocks, nature and all things of the earth. (Read my story about last year’s event here.)


Randall McGehee, right, and his son James, from Noonday, Texas, stack rocks at the 2016 Llano Earth Art Fest. Nell Carroll/AMERICAN-STATESMAN


Binky Morgan hatched the idea for a rock-centric festival in Llano in 2015. With rock stacking as a focus, the free event evolved into an entire earth art festival. Bands played, artists peddled wares, attendees camped and workshopgoers learned about light pollution, shamanic practices and how to start a fire without matches or a lighter.

The third annual festival begins Friday, highlighted by the rock stacking competition Saturday. Things wrap up Monday. Organizers don’t know of any other rock stacking competitions anywhere on the planet, but they know now that Llano loves the concept.

A group gathers to watch the rock balancing competition which has contestants balance as many as they can in 2 minutes. CHRIS LeBLANC for American-Statesman

Nationally known rock stackers, or “rock stars” (yes, some people make a living doing this), will make the trek to Llano for the event. Amateurs, juniors and experts will vie for honors in competitions that include tallest stack, best rock balancer, best arch-maker and most artistic stack. The only rule? No adhesives to hold the rocks together.

For more information go here.