“Smokin Since 1976” is the theme of the original Fajita Cookoff. That’s because the very first Fajita Cookoff was held on Sunday July 4th, 1976.

Do you know the location? Most say at Chimney Park on the banks of the Rio Grande in Madero, just south of Mission. “No, that was years two through five,” says Christopher Julian founder and producer of the Cookoff. The very first Fajita Cookoff was held on the County Courthouse parking lot on the square in Edinburg.

The Cookoff ran for 15 years after that and became the largest and most popular outdoor festival the Valley had ever seen with crazy cooking teams competing with their favorite fajita recipes and family games and activities like sack race, egg toss, three-legged race and watermelon seed spit.

After 25 years, the Cookoff joined PalmFest as one of their major attractions and expanded to include BBQ competition sanctioned by the International Barbeque Cookers Association (IBCA).

“This changed the entire dynamics of the contest,” said Richard Womeldorf, manager of the Cookoff. $10,000 in prize money was on the line and out of town Cooking Teams were very serious about winning their share of the money and IBCA points to be invited to the big national competition in Memphis.

We surveyed our Cooking Teams and here is what they said.

“Hey, this is too much work now, what happened to the good ole days when we had fun cooking?”

So, in our 34th year, its back to basics and fun at PalmFest International Folklife Celebration held at the McAllen Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, October 2-3.

No IBCA BBQ competition this year.

Just the good ole fashion Fajita Cookoff, with Traditional and Gourmet fajita categories on Sunday October 3.

On Saturday, October 2, we will have three fun filled competitions. Pan de Campo, Frijoles a La Charra, and Salsa Competition.

The two-day entry fee for all five categories is only $165.

There will also be a showmanship Award for the Cooking Team that puts on the best show.

We will also have all the family games and activities as well as a huge Kiddie Carnival on both days.

To enter the Cookoff call the Cookoff hot line at 956-682-5566 or go on line to RGVCookoff.com