The postman doesn’t have anything on the Cowboy Breakfast, which draws over 30,000 people no matter if there is good weather, torrential downpours, sleet, snow, hail or temperatures in the teens.
The first event in 1979 at Central Park Mall began as an impromptu send-off for trail riders heading out for annual pilgrimages to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.
Cappy’s Restaurant prepared the tacos. A barbecue pit in the bed of a pickup provided atmosphere. Not many showed up until the KTSA-AM traffic reporter in a helicopter thought the mall was on fire and landed. News of the Cowboy Breakfast spread on KTSA and other stations, and about 400 people made a beeline for free tacos.
It grew. The Cowboy Breakfast was recognized in 2001 as the World’s Largest Cooked Breakfast by the Guinness Book of Records. It feeds between 30,000-50,000 people, depending on the weather.
One of San Antonio’s most-anticipated events – with many people taking off work and making it a holiday – the 38th annual Cowboy Breakfast Sponsored by Jordan Ford will be from 4:30-8:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 29, in the parking lot of Cowboys Dancehall for the fifth year in a row. Cowboys and other venues offer after-parties.
“It’s a tradition for friends and families to come out for this free event, and there’s not much left anymore that’s free,” said Bill Massey, a founding member who serves as chairman of the non-profit Cowboy Breakfast Foundation. “We feed 40,000 people, and it’s all free. Where else can you get something like that on a nice, chilly morning?”
The Texas-size menu includes 20,000 servings of Picante Sauce by Simply Fresco 15,000 cups of McDonalds coffee, 12,000 Kiolbassa Chorizo & Egg Tacos, 10,000 Delicious Tamales, 10,000 Pruski’s Sausage & Egg Tacos, 10,000 Rudy's BBQ Beef Tacos, 8,000 Pioneer Biscuits & Kiolbassa Sausage, 8,000 bacon & egg tacos, 5,000 potato & egg tacos, 5,000 Kiolbassa Sausage Wraps, 5,000 Pints Oak Farms Milk & Orange Juice and 2,500 servings of Pioneer Biscuits & Gravy.
Emcee will be Jackie Van De Walle, chairman emeritus of the ACCD Foundation.
Live music will be provided, so bring your dancing shoes!
Make friends, have fun...and have a great time! Volunteers are needed for a variety of activities – especially needed are food servers. If you want to be an active part of a great event, click the sign-up link below!
Scores of sponsors and more than 300 volunteers produce the event, the unofficial kickoff to the rodeo. Proceeds fund scholarships for students in St. Phillip’s College’s Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Department, one of only 25 in the world rated exemplary by the American Culinary Federation.
The Cowboy Breakfast Foundation presented a check in July for $15,000, providing 17 scholarships. “The best part is that we are able to give our scholarships,” Massey said.
“Students and staff at St. Phillip’s sure turn out to help with the breakfast. We couldn’t do it without them.”
Free shuttle buses will run continuously to and from the Cowboy Breakfast from the parking lot of the Santikos Realto Theater, 2938 N.E. Loop 410. Parking also will be available onsite at Cowboys Dancehall.