The existing version of the annual Cowboy Breakfast, the longtime unofficial start to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, is restarting but under the Stock Show and Rodeo’s management.

The background

Officials with the Cowboy Breakfast Foundation, the now-previous event organizer, announced in a Jan. 17 news release the foundation is no longer able to keep presenting the free community breakfast due to rising costs.

Stock Show and Rodeo officials said they will continue the Cowboy Breakfast on Jan. 26 as part of their barbecue cookoff weekend of activities.

The breakfast is to take place 5-10 a.m. Jan. 26 at 142 Gembler Road with continued involvement of St. Philip’s College culinary arts students, who helped prepare breakfast items in recent years. The 2024 Stock Show and Rodeo will be held Feb. 8-25.

The foundation created the breakfast in 1976 as a way to get local residents ready for rodeo season, organizers said.

Volunteers at the breakfast—typically held on the Friday morning just before the formal beginning of the stock show and rodeo each year—offered free food and beverages to patrons.

Digging deeper

The last time the foundation put on a full Cowboy Breakfast was in 2020, shortly before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Foundation volunteers delivered breakfast to select organizations in 2021 and 2022 in lieu of a large-scale public breakfast. No event was held in 2023.

Foundation officials said the Cowboy Breakfast served more than 1 million tacos, and their organization donated more than $250,000 for scholarships benefiting St. Philip’s College's culinary arts students.

In their announcement, foundation board representatives thanked event volunteers, sponsors, partners and attendees for supporting the breakfast but voiced regret over pulling the plug on the program.

“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,” the news release states. “We will always hold the good times and relationships this event created in our hearts.”