The first World Championship Bison Cookoff was held in the parking lot behind Coleman County Telephone Cooperative with the judging done in the Coop Board meeting room. Eighteen cookers competed in the event sanctioned by Lone star Barbecue Society. The cook off has overcome numerous rough spots over the years. The competition left Lone Star Barbecue, moved to West Texas Barbecue, then returned to Lone Star. The event held in 2002 was dubbed the “Unbison Cookoff” due to losing the bison briskets in the Houston airport in a tornado. In 2020, Covid hit the Cookoff head-on—and shut it down. The 2019 event—the twenty-fifth annual–proved to be the last cook off. In addition to the 2020 competition, events in 2021 and 2022 were cancelled as well. But then, late in 2022, the Santa Anna Chamber of Commerce resolved to resurrect the World Championship Bison Cookoff and the simultaneous festival Funtier Day, opting to limit the cook off to thirty cookers this year.
If you think you can barbecue, pony up and grab one of those thirty grass-fed, Texas born-and-raised buffalo briskets and show up the third weekend in May to test yourself against some of the best pro wood burners in Texas–barbecuing in the shade of Santa Anna mountain!