Cowboy Breakfast Foundation announces it is ending — but event will still go on

The inaugural official rodeo event is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 26

Cowboy Breakfast canceled for 2023, will return in 2024

SAN ANTONIO – The Cowboy Breakfast Foundation on Thursday officially announced it is cutting ties to the long-held tradition of Cowboy Breakfast, which was the “unofficial kickoff” to the rodeo season.

Instead, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo is now taking charge of the event moving forward and it will now be a kickoff to the Rodeo BBQ Cookoff, an event that takes place the same weekend.

Recommended Videos

The rodeo’s inaugural version is scheduled to take place on Friday, Jan. 26 at 142 Gembler Road and will continue to involve St. Philip’s College.

“We regret not being able to serve our community any further, but the costs of putting on this FREE breakfast has skyrocketed, and we are unable to continue. It has been one of the most unique events that was 100% free to the public and 100% volunteer driven,” The Cowboy Breakfast Foundation said in a press release.

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

Back 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.

In November, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo announced its inaugural cowboy breakfast.

“Thank you San Antonio, we are honored to have been a part of your history. The friends and partners we have created over the years have been fantastic and we couldn’t have done this without them. With their help we have been able to serve hundreds of thousands a free breakfast (over a million tacos prepared) while getting the SA rodeo season kicked off and at the same time raising over $250,000 for scholarships for students at the School of Culinary Arts at St. Philip’s College” the foundation said.

The Cowboy Breakfast Foundation said since 1976, they have served:

  • over 1 million tacos
  • 300,000 biscuits and gravy
  • over 300,000 sweet rolls
  • over 200,000 milk or juice
  • over 10,000 gallons of coffee

A total of $250,000 in scholarship donations were distributed to as many as 159 students, the press release said.

“This event could not have gone on without the great support from our wonderful volunteers, partners and sponsors. We want to give a great big THANK YOU to each and every one of them for all that they have done throughout the years, braving the early hours and, at times questionable weather conditions, to make The Cowboy Breakfast a huge success. We will always hold the good times and relationships this event created in our hearts. Happy Trails from the Board of The Cowboy Breakfast.”

Chris Derby, chief marketing officer for the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in a prior press release said this year’s event will fall under the rodeo’s nonprofit status and mission.

“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.”

About the Author

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

Recommended Videos