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Thousands Fly out of Bed for 39th Annual Cowboy Breakfast in San Antonio

Early this morning, thousands gathered in San Antonio for the long-standing tradition of The Cowboy Breakfast. The event, now in its 39th year, helps kick off the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, and features live music and fantastic breakfast food. What's best about the event? It's entirely free.

This year, the festivities began at 4:30 on Friday morning in the parking lot of Cowboys Dancehall. It concluded at 8:30 AM, but there were also other after-parties after breakfast. Organizers of the event say that approximately 40,000 people showed up to enjoy the free food and music.

To get ready for the event, a lot of food preparation happens. Organizers prepped 12,000 Kiolbassa Chorizo and Egg Tacos, which happen to be the favorite item on the menu, and a heaping helping of lots of other great foods. Here's what else goes into this event:

  • 10,000 tamales
  • 10,000 Pruski's sausage and egg tacos
  • 10,000 Rudy's BBQ beef tacos
  • 8,000 Pioneer biscuits and Kiolbassa sausage
  • 8,000 bacon and egg tacos
  • 5,000 potato and egg tacos
  • 5,000 Kiolbassa sausage wraps
  • 2,500 Pioneer biscuits and gravy

Naturally, you need something to wash all this fantastic food down. 15,000 cups of coffee were prepped as a nice pick me up for the adults and 5,000 pints of milk and orange juice for the kids.

This fun event draws families of all sizes every year and earned the title "Largest Cooked Breakfast" from the Guinness Book of World Records in 2001.

Of course, the Cowboy Breakfast started as a much smaller event in 1979. As trail riders were heading out for the pilgrimage to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, Cappy's Restaurant decided to do something nice for them. They threw a barbecue pit in the back of their pickup and started making tacos for the trail riders.

Surprisingly, not many people showed up for the free tacos. At least not until a news helicopter landed in the parking lot thinking the building was on fire. At that point, news spread like a wildfire and about 400 people wound up showing up for the free tacos.

Now, The Cowboy Breakfast, is an event many anticipate all year long. It still coincides with and acts as an unofficial warm-up for the stock show and rodeo, which runs from Feb. 9-26. The stock show draws in about 2 million visitors every year and is one of the largest and most prestigious events in the city.

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