AUSTIN -- With trick roping, chainsaw carving, of course plenty of good eatin', the Cowboy Breakfast is the kickoff event that officially gets the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo underway.
Thousands attended the annual breakfast at the Long Center instead of Auditorium Shores Friday morning because Auditorium Shores is undergoing renovations.
"It's by far one of our favorite events, not only ours, but the city of Austin. We always see all kinds of people come out and get some great food," said Amanda Sudduth with Rodeo Austin.
The breakfast began at 6 a.m. with traditional food like biscuits and gravy. There was live music from Barry Chinn and Route 66, as well as entertainment in the form of trick roping. There was even a chainsaw artist at the event.
One of the most popular attractions is Brian and Susan Frankum's chuckwagon. They don't mind getting up early to make pan after pan of homemade biscuits and gravy the old-fashioned way.
"I mean the biscuits they're making now, and the way you're eating them out of these Dutch ovens is the way it was done 150 years ago," Brian said.
"We'd never brought the kids before, so we just decided to on a whim," said parent Susan Guerra.
Guerra says she wanted her kids to know what life used to be like in Texas and the Old West.
"With technology and everything, kids don't get exposed to this kind of stuff very often," Guerra said.
Preserving a slice of history and keeping Texas traditions alive is a great way, organizers say, to get this year's rodeo out of the gate.
"If you don't know where you've been, you really don't know where you're going. If they don't know the hardships from years past, they can't appreciate what they have now," said Susan Frankum.
Austin's rodeo began in 1938 and has grown to include a livestock show and nightly concerts. This year's performances include Willie Nelson and The Temptations.
Go here for more information on the rodeo.