Texas Hobo Cook-off returns to Cherokee County

by Texas Hobo Cook-off returns to Cherokee County

After a one-year hiatus due to a global pandemic, the Texas Hobo Cook-off & Gypsy Jamboree is back in full force.

The IBCA-sanctioned event will be held July 2- 3 at Rusk KOA Holiday, 745 FM 343, and offers a guaranteed $5,000 cash pay-out, said organizer Willie Arnwine.

Arnwine is the Cherokee County AgriLife extension agent who launched the event several years ago as a means of supporting the 4-H County Volunteer Leaders' Association (CVLA) of Cherokee County, which in turn supports local 4-H programs.

The purse is based on an IBCA 3-meat award scale: The grand champ receives a $500 prize and a complimentary entry in the 2022 Hobo Cook-off; the reserve champ receives a $400 prize and 50 percent discounted entry in next year's event; the Hobo King (Longest Haul) receives $200 and a 25 percent discounted entry in 2020 event.

Despite disappointment over last year's cancellation, Arnwine said folks are thrilled to hear of the Hobo Cook-off's return.

"We've had several people tell us on Facebook, 'Man, we're glad you're coming back,'" he said. "We're three months out, and we already have people registering for it. And it's gonna be set up this year to do well."

In addition to competitions for dessert, cook's choice, bloody Mary, beans, chicken, pork spare ribs and brisket, other planned events include a car show, food and merchandise vendors and musical entertainment, possibly even a fireworks show, depending upon weather conditions, said KOA owner Jack McMullen.

“We’re pretty excited,” McMullen said. “We’ve had it here a couple of years, off and on, and it’s been successful in the past.

Contest entry is $200 for first-timers, and $175 for returning competitors, with a $25 fee for 50/50 jackpots.

For complete HOBO RULES and other important details, visit www.txhobocookoff.com or contact Willie Arnwine, dub@txhobocookoff.com or call/text 903-330-4397.