Brady/McCulloch Chamber Decision Makes Waves
BRADY, TX - A recent decision by the local Chamber of Commerce in Brady has people buzzing. The Buzz is caused by an announcement that for this year’s 44th Annual World Championship Bar-B-Que Goat Cook-off, the Chamber will begin charging an entrance fee.
The “new” idea is far from new. In or about 1984, the idea was bandied around, and a strong opposition to the notion caused the directors to stand back and re-think the idea. It was, after all, one of the last remaining events of its kind to be free, which seemed to be one of the attractions.
Parking was handled by local civic groups and youth organizations for a small stipend, which the Chamber paid. All too soon, once again, the bulb of opportunity with money-making in mind came on brightly and directors voted to begin charging $5 per car to park. While local youth were parking cars, it was never really clear whether they might be getting paid or were doing it from the kindness of their hearts or the love of the local Chamber.
The idea today is to sell wrist bracelets for entrance, something that makes totally good sense. Where before there might have been four or five people in one car, now that number can be multiplied by individual $ signs.
Additionally, over recent years, it seems that local attendance has fallen off quite a bit. So it’s not as if locals would be getting gouged. Instead, this would fall into the realm of “tourist dollars.”
Some people on the street who were asked their thoughts would only respond in an unidentified way. A majority of those questioned replied negatively to the idea. Local radio station KNEL has been running an opinion poll on its website. No totals to that poll have been announced.
In defense of the Chamber’s decision, members did announce that part of the funds derived from the entrance fee will be distributed to local charities.