Spur, Texas —America’s first tiny-house-friendly town, according to a 2014 proclamation — will host its second annual Big Dog Barbecue Cook-off as part of a weekend fund-raiser June 21–22, 2019, co-sponsored by the Spur Area Chamber of Commerce, to benefit the city’s swimming pool restoration.
The city’s Swenson Park swimming pool and bathhouse were state-of-the-art when constructed in 1936 with the help of WPA funding. But in 2009, after nearly 75 years as a favorite destination the big ranch country east of Lubbock, the pool developed leaks and was closed for repairs. The repairs proved too costly and impractical, and it never reopened.
The following year, the historic pool was named to Preservation Texas’s statewide list of Most Endangered Places. Determined to preserve this important aspect of its legacy, Spur has since staged several fund-raisers aimed at replacing or restoring the facility.
Among the activities for the weekend will be a 5K and 3K Color Run starting at 9:00 a.m. in Swenson Park. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. at the Bulldog Weight Room (in Swenson Park across from Jones Stadium). The entry fee is $25, with children 10 and under free.
Also in Swenson Park will be the city’s second annual IBCA-santioned Big Dog Barbecue Cook-off (named for Spur’s school mastcot, the Bulldogs), featuring two dozen or more cooks vying for top prize money. Cooks will check in, set up their rigs, and begin firing up the grills Friday at 1:00 p.m.; entries will be turned in the following afternoon, with judging taking place for various meats between noon and 3 p.m. Saturday and winners announced at 4:30 p.m. that day.
The entry fee is $150 per team for three meats (half chicken; pork spare ribs; beef brisket), which qualify teams for the Grand Champion slot; other prizes will be awarded to competitors in one- or two-meat categories, for a reduced entry fee. A Jackpot Beans competition will also be held, with judging at 11 a.m. Saturday, for a $25 entry fee. All entry fees are payable via cash or check. Prize money will be paid out via check.
Note that because foods cooked by IBCA competitors are prepared for judging and not available in quantity, cook-off foods are not available for consumption or purchase by the general public. Other food vendors will provide meals and refreshments in the park during the event.
Friday night at 6 p.m. will be goat roping in the Swenson Park arena. Entry is $5 per person, and there is no limit on the number of entries that can be purchased. Proceeds benefit the Spur Class of 2020 and the Spur pool fundraiser.
On Saturday, a double-elimination Horsehoe Tournament will be held in the park, starting at 11:00 a.m. The entry fee is $30 per team; 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places are guaranteed to pay prize money. Teams may sign up on event day.
Vendors will feature concessions, cool beverages, and merchandise for sale from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. near the pavilion in the park. Vendor spots are still available; cost to set up for food vendors is $50, retailers $25.
Saturday night, recording artist and Spur native Logun Timberlake and his band, 65 at Night, will perform at a dance from 8 p.m. to midnight. Advance tickets are $10 or $15 at the door. The Spur Area Chamber of Commerce has tickets for sale. For more information, call (806) 474-5757.
About Spur’s historic Swenson Park
Swenson Park is situated on 100+ acres of a scenic, wooded hillside on the north side of Texas Highway 70 in Spur. Main access is via the road heading uphill beside the Allsup’s Convenience Store; the drive up the ridge provides sweeping views of Spur’s main commercial thoroughfares, residences and businesses, as well as a farm and ranchland vista. Swenson Park is home to an 18-hole golf course, a rodeo arena, a show barn, a picnic pavilian and playground, athletic fields, and the historic Jones Stadium, built into the side of a rock outcrop.
About Spur’s tiny houses
Spur began officially welcoming tiny house residences with a city proclamation in July 2014. While residences have much lower minimum square footage requirements than in most municipalities, some ordinances do apply; contact the City of Spur at (806) 271-3316 for information.
Visitors to Spur are encouraged to take a driving tour of the area to see the tiny houses the city is known for. A map showing numerous home locations is available at City Hall.
A history of Spur’s Swenson Park Swimming Pool, published in The Texas Spur May 17, 2018, may be found at the newspaper’s online archive, along with historic photographs for media use, at www.TheTexasSpur.com.