Celebrating 75 years, this year’s Rodeo Austin Gala Diamond Celebration was a blast! If you read my pre-event article about the Rodeo Austin Gala, it is clear that I love cowboys! And as anticipated, there were cowboys everywhere at the gala of all shapes and sizes and looked sharp with their unique boots and felt cowboy hats! Open bars too numerous to count were scattered everywhere so there was never a wait. There were lavishly decorated tables with an array of foods, and so many amazing silent auction items. The energy upon entering the vast Palmer Events Center was so high that it felt as if I were at the real rodeo!
Guests leisurely sipped their cocktails as they admired and bid on silent auction items. Chris Mosser and Anne Hudson were the emcees for the evening. Anne was as beautiful as ever! Chris and Anne just debuted their new radio show, Mosser and Hudson, on KVET 98.1 earlier this year and the two love to interact with their listeners and promote beneficial causes for their community.
The four-course dinner was incredible. It consisted of two types of fresh salads with local Texas ingredients, ancho-rubbed pork loin, citrus marinated breasts of chicken, Shiner Bock braised beef medallions, twiced-baked smashed potatoes, asadero corn pudding and any other type of southern comfort food you can imagine. There were special tables set aside just for the wide array of desserts including 14 inch iron skillets with hot strawberry and cream cheese cobbler, on each dessert table. No corners were cut putting this event together and it was clear throughout the night. Despite the huge amount of people at the event, the waitstaff did not fall short of great customer service, as my water glass was never empty.
After enjoying dinner, I spoke with Roland and Betty Hampton, owners of CTC Air which offers a large variety of portable units that include rental chillers, whether you need to cool an office building or a chiller for processing, CTC Air has exactly the right chiller for your next job. Roland and Betty have been a part of Rodeo Austin for years and continue to feel passionate about donating their services and time to continue the education for our Texas’ youth.
Sitting next to the Hamptons, was their son-in-law and daughter Chris and Janna Parker. Chris grew up going to the rodeo between the ages of 9-18 entering chickens and turkeys among other livestock. The Hamptons and Parkers then reminisced about their memories over the years being a part of the rodeo and shared a few laughs about watching past calf scrambles at the rodeo!
Radney Foster took the stage first to get the night going and I was very surprised to hear so many hit songs that I know and love written by him! Radney is such a talented song writer and artisits including Gary Allan, Sara Evans, Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley have performed songs Radney has written. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Radney perform his original songs at the gala. To follow Radney was Ronnie Dunn, formerly with Brooks and Dunn. Ronnie went solo in 2010 and has released two hits since, “Bleed Red” and “Cost of Livin” with great success. It was an honor to see Ronnie perform at the gala and he was very entertaining!
This year, new to the Rodeo Austin Gala, was a live auction presented by the beautiful Miss Rodeo Austin, Katie Crews. Included in the live auction was an Argentina Dove Hunt donated by Custom Sporting, a pair of custom, handmade all leather cowboy boots by CABoots and a Hill Country Exotic Game Hunt donated by Trapper Burkett.
Later in the evening, I met Fred Weber, Rodeo Austin’s 2012 President and he was very excited to say that millions of dollars have been raised to further the education of the youth in Texas. Fred has been diligently involved with the Rodeo Austin for over 15 years and he remains inspired to participate in the events that touch so many people’s lives for the better.
This year’s Rodeo Austin Gala was spectacular with lots of handsome cowboys, beautiful cowgirls, awesome entertainment and food and the best part, a raised awareness for our Western Heritage and money raised for education for Texas’ youth!
I’ll see you at the Rodeo Austin in March!