"I think it is going to be a fun time," said David Riggins, who, along with his wife, Carolyn, runs Talon Point Retreat for the Panhandle Children's Foundation (PCF). He was talking about the 16th annual Hogs at the Point motorcycle rally and barbecue cook off that starts at 8:00 am Saturday, August 24, when the first motorcycle heads out on a more than 100 mile "fun run" through the Texas Panhandle. While the bikers are riding, barbecue cooks at Talon Point will be competing for $10,000.00 in total prize money in an International Barbecue Cooks Association (IBCA) sanctioned cook off, which Riggins says is a Texas State Championship.
The Hogs at the Point event is the largest fundraiser for the PCF, an organization that provides assistance to Panhandle children struggling with disabilities, illnesses, and other life challenges. Every year, among other things, the foundation pays for medical equipment and treatment for children with chronic illnesses. It helps pay the travel expenses of families forced to take their children to distant facilities for treatment. And, it puts on and pays for camps at Talon Point Retreat that give children a safe and secure environment to forget their problems for a while and have fun with other children facing similar issues.
Riggins says the event Saturday is not just for bikers and barbecue cooks. "For the adults, we will have corn hole, picnic tables in the shade, and music playing all day. It is just a good time for people to come out and enjoy being out here," he said. "It is Panhandle Children's Foundation, so the board is making it more family friendly this year." There will be carnival games in the courtyard, and the board moved the traditional "Kids-Q" from Friday evening to Saturday morning to accommodate working parents. Riggins says the barbecue competition for children is open to the first 85 who register. "We already have 40 signed up, so I urge parents to get their kids signed up now at talonpoint.org." Scout Energy paid all of the expenses for the children's cook off, so participation for the children is free. "PCF will provide the grill, charcoal, and hamburger patties to the kids. They bring their spices and spatulas and turn in their cooked hamburgers, and they are judged just like the big boys," said Riggins. Judging will be at noon.
There will be plenty of food at Talon Point on Saturday. From 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, visitors will be able to purchase a hamburger lunch for $5.00; from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, $10.00 will buy a barbecue dinner of brisket, sausage, and all sides.
Saturday evening is the award presentation ceremony. The Amarillo band Insufficient Funds will play live, and there will be both a live and silent auction. Some of the items being auctioned off are a Kenneth Wyatt painting, a John Deer Gator for children, and a gun safe with room to store 14 guns.
Riggins says those wanting to compete in the IBCA cook off need to register online at talonpoint.org. There is a $200.00 registration fee, and teams are required to cook chicken, brisket, pork spare ribs, and pork butt/shoulder. There are two jackpot categories: beans and open. Registration for these is $25.00 each.
The motorcycle rally is open to anyone, and Riggins suggests those wanting to take part arrive at Talon Point Retreat before 8:00 am to get registered. He says the route was shortened a bit this year to avoid some of the road construction in the area.
Finally, Riggins says they need judges. "All you have to do is come out here and eat. We have some of the top cooks in IBCA competitions. You will get good food." If you want to be a judge for the cook offs, send an email with your name, address, and age to firstname.lastname@example.org. You must be 18 or older to be a judge.
Talon Point Retreat is located between Dumas and Channing off of FM722 west of Dumas. For more information on the Hogs at the Point event or accommodation at Talon Point call (806) 935-5598.