Things to Do

Celebrate Jim Bowie Days Bar-B-Q Cook-off & Car Show in Menard

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Those who are new to Menard might wonder how it’s rooted in the makings of this great state. Among the historic stops in and around town is the Presidio – a historic fortress once known as Presidio San Luis de las Amarillas. It was built in 1757, designed to protect Spanish interests in what’s now known as the Texas Hill Country, which included nearby Mission Santa Cruz de San Saba. The Mission was burned to the ground, never benefitting from the close proximity of the Presidio. The fortress itself only lasted another 15 years beyond that, and by decree of the Viceroy of New Spain, it was abandoned in 1772. In 1936, the Texas Centennial Commission contracted its reconstruction in efforts to recapture the region’s history. Visitors have since made it one of the more popular attractions of the area, which the town of Menard helps to preserve and interpret.

Celebrate Jim Bowie Days Bar-B-Q Cook-off & Car Show in Menard

Photo: Facebook/Friends of Fort McKavett

Visitors to the Presidio also like to tour nearby Fort McKavett State Historic Site, which was a frontier fort established on the San Saba River, with the mission to protect settlers from Native American raids. The original camp was renamed in honor of a captain by the name of Henry McKavett, who lost his life in the battle of Monterrey during the Mexican-American War. Not only that, but Menard has a great deal of historical buildings in its downtown core, including the ongoing renovation project for its theatre, as well as tours of the First Christian Church (one of only four like it found in Texas).

Celebrate Jim Bowie Days Bar-B-Q Cook-off & Car Show in Menard

Photo: Menard County Chamber of Commerce

But the real beauty to behold will be at the park by the river where the Jim Bowie Days Car Show and the 5th Annual Jim Bowie Bar-B-Q Cook-off will take place on May 4. The free dance (which is B.Y.O.B.) will happen that evening, capping things off nicely for guests and locals alike, who can dance from 6 – 9 p.m. Saturday night. Also, it’s just been announced that there will be a roping event at J&J Arena on Friday, May 3, with registration at 6:00 p.m. and the roping to begin at 7:00. If you’re planning to take your sweetheart, your cooking skills, or your dancing boots to Menard on May 4, 2019, call ahead for more information or for registration forms at (325) 396-2365, but don’t call us late for dinner to the cook-off!

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