|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2012-04-23                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than seven years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Lenny Francoeur, Tournament Director, (479) 715-6103, lenny@toyotatexasbassclassic.com; Adam Harris, Director, Marketing and Communications, (919) 531-0500, adam@toyotatexasbassclassic.com; Mallory Beck, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, (919) 531-0400, mallory.beck@octagon.com ]
April 23, 2012
Toyota Texas Bass Classic Serves up BBQ Cook Off
Fishing world championship and music festival will feature 75 teams in BBQ Cook-off
ATHENS--There's sure to be plenty of big bites at this year's Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC), and this September the fish won't only be the only thing biting. Today, tournament officials announced the inaugural TTBC BBQ Cook-off, which will bring 75 teams together to battle it out for $8,000 in guaranteed prize money. Teams will compete for best brisket, ribs and other BBQ favorites at the annual world championship of professional bass fishing and country music festival Sept. 28-30.
"We couldn't be more excited about our event schedule this year," said Tournament Director Lenny Francoeur. "World championship fishing, free concerts, BBQ and one of Texas' best outdoor expos, we've got it all. The TTBC has truly evolved into the can't-miss community event."
The TTBC BBQ Cook-off is officially sanctioned by the Texas Gulf Coast BBQ Cookers Association (TGCBCA). The People's Choice Awards will provide BBQ lovers the chance to sample and select a winner in one category while teams will also compete for best brisket, chicken and ribs.
Registration for BBQ cook-off teams is available online at toyotatexasbassclassic.com or at http://www.tgcbca.org/ and is limited to the first 75 applicants. Event details and competition rules are also available online.
Daily tournament weigh-ins, outdoor expo and free concerts will take place at the Lone Star Convention & Expo Center, and the TTBC will offer a wide range of activities that families, outdoor enthusiasts and music fans will enjoy. The 2012 concert line-up will be announced this summer; previous performers include Trace Adkins, Billy Currington, Pat Green and Blake Shelton.
The Lone Star Convention & Expo Center is a state-of-the-art facility conveniently located minutes from Lake Conroe and The Woodlands and only 40 minutes north of Houston. The location offers easy access to event activities, local shops and restaurants. For more information visit http://www.thelonestar.org.
The Toyota Texas Bass Classic tournament functions are operated by the Professional Anglers Association with technical assistance and support from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Inland Fisheries Division. Title sponsor for the event is Toyota. For additional information, visit http://toyotatexasbassclassic.com or call 1-866-907-0143.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than seven years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle, TPWD, (830) 866-3533 or robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov; Steve Killian, Brazos Bend SP superintendent (979) 553-5102 or steve.killian@tpwd.texas.gov ]
April 23, 2012
Treat Mom to a Healthy, Fun Mother's Day at a Texas State Park
AUSTIN - Why not do something special this Mother's Day by treating mom to an outdoor adventure and a picnic lunch amid appetite-stimulating scenery at a one of more than 90 Texas State Parks. Not only will mom and the family enjoy a healthier and happier day, but they also will be helping state parks close a budget gap.
After dining al fresco, take mom on a nature trail hike, go mountain biking, rent a canoe or pose for family photos among this year's bumper wildflower crop. Texas boasts 94 state parks and historic sites in every corner of the state and within a short drive of major metropolitan areas that need your support now more than ever. Twelve state parks are located within an hour's drive of Austin, nine within an hour's drive of San Antonio, eight parks less than an hour away from folks living in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and seven about an hour's drive from Houston.
State parks offer an affordable and wholesome way to celebrate holidays, such as Mother's Day, and spend time with family and friends. Children 12 and younger receive free entrance and senior citizens who meet certain qualifications may receive discounted entry fees. As always, Texas State Park Pass holders enjoy waived entry fees for themselves and their guests. To see what's going on in Texas state parks Mother's Day weekend, visit: www.texasstateparks.org/mothersday.
Visitor fees pay for roughly half of the cost to operate the state park system, so visiting state parks is the most important way people can help the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department close a $4.6 million funding gap caused in large part by a drop off in visitation due to last year's record heat, drought and wildfires. Since early December, donations from organizations, businesses and thousands of park lovers have brought in more than $1.7 million, but parks aren't financially out of the woods yet.
Several Houston area families will get a jump on Mother's Day festivities by camping and cooking out at Brazos Bend State Park near Needville a week prior to Mother's Day, which this year falls on Sunday, May 13.
Chef Tiffany Blackmon from The Texas Beef Council will be at the park at lunchtime on Monday, May 7, to demonstrate to visiting families how easy it is to prepare a healthy picnic meal for mom. Council representatives will share tips on how to make budget-friendly picnicking easy and fun through proper preparation and safe food handling. To review a variety of camping-friendly recipes, visit: http://www.texasstateparks.org/mothersday
After lunch, park interpretive staff will take families on an Elm Lake nature hike and will conduct an interpretive show-and-tell with baby American alligators. The alligator is the Brazos Bend State Park mascot and gators are readily seen in many areas of the 5,000-acre park that fronts 3.5 miles of the Brazos River.
A mother alligator serves as a great role model, guarding her cache of buried eggs to dig up when she hears the first chirps of her offspring. Adult females often hang around their babies for up to a year to protect them from predators such as bullfrogs and bass.
Brazos Bend State Park's outdoor cooking demonstration and interpretive program on May 7 is one of dozens of tourism events being held throughout Texas to celebrate Texas Travel and Tourism Week, May 5-13, which coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week. State parks play a vital role in the overall Texas travel industry that in 2010 generated $ 57.9 billion in direct travel spending and supported 529,000 jobs, according to the Governor's Economic Development and Tourism Office.
To learn about state parks near you and the various activities and events they offer, or to make online overnight reservations, visit http://www.texasstateparks.org . You can also call 1-800-792-1112, option 3, between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday to make an overnight reservation.
On the Net:
Visit Texas State Parks: http://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/
Reasons To Get Outside: http://tpwd.texas.gov/features/getoutside/
TPWD News Roundup: http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/news_roundup/state_parks_appeal_for_help/
Texas State Park Donations: http://tpwd.texas.gov/helpparks