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Last year, the Texas Association of First Responders (TAFR) Wild Game Cookoff at Sam Houston Race Park was by far the best barbecue cookoff I attended all year. With teams from the FBI (team name: Silence of the Hams), the Secret Service (team name: Smoke and Mirrors), the U.S. Customs Bureau (team name: Smugglers' Blues) alongside law enforcement agencies from around the state, how could it not be? You know you want to see what kind of fancy barbecue rig the CIA brings in. The 4th annual TAFR cookoff kicks off tonight at 5 p.m. and continues through tomorrow, May 14. Tickets are $5 at the gate and parking is $5.

Also this weekend, of course, is the Haute Wheels food truck festival. Did you already buy your VIP tickets? If so, we'll see you in the tent. If not, $16 general admission tickets are still available for the two-day event.

And if food trucks aren't your thing, head out west to the 2011 Houston Greek Festival at St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church on Eldridge. Admission is free each day this weekend -- Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- until 2 p.m. After that time, it's only $3 a ticket. The big draw, of course, is the World Gyro Eating Championship that will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Big-name competitive eaters like Joey Chestnut, Pat Bertoletti and Erik "The Red" Denmark will compete for $4,000 in prizes. And you'll be surprised at just how many gyros they can put away.

Coming up on June 11 is the inaugural Houston Beer Fest, which will fill Hermann Square Park with bands and beers from breweries from Ommegang to no label. And yes -- there will be beer pong and flip cup competitions. Get your tickets now for $20 (or $10 if you promise to be the designated driver!).

The Alamo Drafthouse series at downtown's Market Square Park continues on June 18, when they'll be screening Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade for free that evening at 8 p.m. while you munch on goodies from Niko Niko's (which will have later hours that evening). You can also, of course, bring over pizza from ERA or sushi from Convey, or food from any of the other wonderful restaurants that ring Market Square.

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Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.