Cowboy Breakfast to return in 2024 for the first time since pre-pandemic and will be official rodeo event

The inaugural official event will be held on Jan. 26 at 142 Gembler Road

San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo announced the Cowboy Breakfast will be an official rodeo event in 2024. (San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo)

The long-held tradition of the Cowboy Breakfast is returning in 2024 for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and going forward, it’s going to officially be a rodeo event.

“We are very excited to now activate the official rodeo cowboy breakfast to start the celebration of our 75th Anniversary Stock Show & Rodeo,” said Chris Derby, chief marketing officer for the San Antonio Rodeo, in a press release.

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The Cowboy Breakfast has been a tradition since 1979. It was never a rodeo-sponsored event but was instead considered the “unofficial kick-off” to rodeo season.

Now, San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo volunteers will work with the Cowboy Breakfast Foundation to make it official.

The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo announced that the inaugural event will be held on Jan. 26 at 142 Gembler Road and will be a kickoff to the Rodeo BBQ Cookoff that takes place the same weekend.

Pre-COVID, Cowboy Breakfast was held in the parking lot of Cowboys Dancehall and attended by about 30,000 attendees and hundreds of volunteers who served up free breakfast.

In 2021 and 2022, there were much smaller, private events with volunteers cooking breakfast for organizations and first responders. It was canceled in 2023 after Cowboy Breakfast Foundation officials announced that the future was uncertain due to inflation putting a strain on sponsorships and funding.

Derby said this year’s event will fall under the rodeo’s nonprofit status and mission.

“The funds will go to fund scholarships for students in St. Phillip’s College’s Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Department as well of other educational institutions in San Antonio,” Derby said.

Because it is a free event, the funds are raised through sponsorships of the event.

“We will also be accepting donations as part of the Kash for Kids program that the Rodeo BBQ cook-off team uses during their event,” Derby said. “This is a participation optional program, but not forced on anyone to come out and just enjoy the free event.”

Derby said people can expect the event to look similar to what they’ve been used to in the past. They even plan to use some of the same equipment.

" They did such a great job and it has always been known as the official kickoff event, but it was never put on by the rodeo,” he said. “Now we are excited to make this happen and carry on a great tradition they started.”

San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo announced the Cowboy Breakfast will be an official rodeo event in 2024. (San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo)

About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.