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Good People Gather in Luling for Great Barbecue and, of Course, Watermelon

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A visit to Luling, Texas means two things: great barbecue and the celebration of the watermelon. City Market in Luling is the stuff that legends are made of. Ranked many a time as some of the best barbecue in America (never mind just the state of Texas!) City Market’s business plan has been working well since 1958. And, although many business entities today are accepting debit and credit cards, City Market is a cash-only eatery, but for $10 you can buy more than enough to keep you full and happy!

Good People Gather in Luling for Great Barbecue and, of Course, Watermelon

Photo: Facebook/GrillinFools.com

In an interview with ABC13, co-owner Ray Bell explained, “We only have three kinds of meat: brisket, ribs, and sausage. That’s all we’ve ever fixed. We do it the same every day.” The city of Luling has a population that consists of a little more than 5,000, but the barbecue from City Market has become known throughout the world. And rightly so, it’s made Bell somewhat of a celebrity! “We were on a bus going to the Hoover Dam one day on a tour and a man I didn’t even know recognized me. He said, ‘Are you from Luling?’ He said, ‘I’ve been in there eating barbecue before.'”

Good People Gather in Luling for Great Barbecue and, of Course, Watermelon

Photo: Facebook/Aztec Events & Tents

Another great thing that Luling is known for is their annual Watermelon Thump Festival. Held each year since 1954 in late June, it includes great events such as the Thump Queen pageant and even seed-spitting contests! There’s also a carnival, live entertainment, exhibitors, food booths, mechanical bull riding, and so much more! It swells the town’s numbers to more than 35,000 with both in and out-of-state visitors. And, there are cash prizes for the largest watermelons – at least $5,000 worth! Explaining that the event is ingrained in Luling’s tapestry, one local identified, “I guess you have to understand small town Texas, but it’s a gathering of all the good people from the little towns around. We get together and celebrate good times and watermelon, I suppose.” We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves.

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