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Scenes from the 41st annual Brady Goat Cook-off

Addie Broyles

The Brady Goat Cook-off has been on my Texas bucket list, oh, since I moved here almost 10 years ago.

Like many folks who move here, I spent the first few months devouring every newspaper or magazine I could get my hands on to try to get a better understand of what this great state offered. I needed to know the big names and places that meant something meaningful to the people who live here, not to mention the big events that help give Texas so much of its distinct character.

I don’t remember where I first learned about the Brady Goat Cook-off, but I know that every Labor Day, I’ve thought about driving up there just to see what it’s all about. A few kids and this busy job of mine got in the way, but this year, the organizers invited me to participate as a judge.

How could I pass up an opportunity like that?

On Saturday morning, I drove about two hours and change from here to Brady and by the afternoon, found myself eating some of the best (and worst) goat I’ve had with dozens of fellow judges with whom I’d become fast friends. From the esteemed finals judges, who have been judging for so long that they only have to judge the top 10, to the newbies, including Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn, who were tasked with finding the top 10 out of nearly 200 entries, we all had a blast comparing notes about where we came from and what led us to this particular pavillion in a park, surrounded by some of the most passionate goat cooks in the country.

I’ll have a bigger travel story about this event in October, but I wanted to post photos from the event as soon as I could today. You can see them here in this gallery.