Twenty-three short years ago, a group of friends – hunters from Beaumont and local Llanoites – decided to have a golf tournament with a crawfish boil and barbecue afterward.
They all agreed that money raised from the event would be donated to a Llano man in need of a motorized wheelchair; and thus the Llano Crawfish Open was born. This year, the tradition will continue April 20-21.
Over the years, the event has grown into the largest annual event in Llano, bringing in 12,000-15,000 attendees over the course of the 3-day event.
And, just as it was that very first year, all proceeds go to local Llano charities. While the first event helped outfit a gentleman with a wheelchair, there are now several local non-profits benefiting from this tasty and fun event. In the past year, the Llano Crawfish Open has given approximately $50,000 to various organizations, including the Llano County Special Opportunities School, Meals on Wheels, Llano Food Pantry and Tow Food Wagon, just to name a few.
Since 1989 when the first crawfish was eaten, the event has grown to exceed any and all expectations of the founding friends.
2012 is promising to be no different. This year, 13,000 pounds - yes, that’s thousand! – of crawfish will be cooked up, so there will be plenty for everyone!
Kicking off Thursday night with a live auction at Granite O Bar, the Llano Crawfish Open will really get going come Friday when the Charity Crawfish Golf Open begins at 7:30 am. Boiled Crawfish, Bar-b-que, Jambalaya, Potatoes and Corn will be served starting at 11am at Robinson Park in Llano, and all day long there will be tons of stuff to do – shopping at the myriad of arts and crafts booths, activities for children, live music with Llano’s own Cadillac Gypsies, as well as Zach Edwards Band and Pauline Reese, River Road Show and the Washers, D Ann Reñe, and much more. Admission is free all day Friday!
That night, check out Two Tons of Steel at the Buckhorn Hall, located in Llano’s historic Railyard District. Tickets are for sale now for $15 for this all ages show. Call 325-247-5673 to purchase your ticket now. There will also be a live auction, so get ready to bid!
Saturday will be an all-day fun-packed adventure, and for only $10 admission, you can experience it all! More crawfish, more barbecue, more shopping, more, more, more!
The Golf Open will start again at 7:30am, and for those of you who like to ride, you will be in hog heaven when engines rev for the Annual Motorcycle Fun Run, led by the Gypsy Motorcycle Club.
For those of you who prefer to walk or run, the Annual Crawfish Crawler 5K Walk/Run is for you! The 5K will be held Saturday morning; registration will begin at 7:30am and the run will start at 8:30am. Cost is $25 per entry.
Crawfish Team Roping will begin on Friday at 12:15 pm, and run through Sunday. This year, the event will be held in the brand new covered rodeo arena, located on RR 152 just a little ways down the road from the old arena. The new arena, which will seat around 1,500 people, will be ready just in time for the Crawfish Open, and visitors will be the first ever to enjoy the amenities that the new arena will offer.
The roping will go all day Saturday, and is being produced by Taylor Productions.
Once you have had your fill of good eats, shopped till you dropped, and seen all that you could see, Aaron Watson will go onstage at the Park Pavilion at Robinson Park!
Watson, who hails from Amarillo, has become a singing sensation across Texas, and Saturday night will surely be a concert no one wants to miss.
The $10 all day admission (12 and under get in free!) will get you in to see Aaron Watson, but if you skip the festivities, and just come for the show, it will be $15 after 7pm. No pets, no ice chests.
If you haven’t been to one of the previous 22 Crawfish Festivals, now is your chance! There will be no better place to be the weekend of April 20-21, and nowhere in the Hill Country will you find a celebration like this! And in the history of charity events, it has never, ever been this much fun doing good! You do not want to miss out!
For more information on the Llano Crawfish Open, visit their website at www.llanocrawfishopen.com.