What is the rodeo Cook-Off? Where do the Cougar Cookers fit in?

The Cook-Off is a major event that kicks off the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLS&R). Cougar Cookers is one of hundreds of groups that participate in the Cook-Off.

Why should I donate to Cougar Cookers?

When you donate to Cougar Cookers, you support the goals of Cougar Cookers, including scholarships, support of the University of Houston and Frontier Fiesta, and support of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. In addition, you get access to rodeo food and fun at the Cougar Cookers tent.

What are the donation levels?

The donation levels are set each year by the Cougar Cookers committee. The range of donor levels covers the spectrum from corporate sponsorships to individual donor level.

How and when can I donate to get wristbands?

Cougar Cookers opens up donations for about a six month period, beginning around mid-August through about two weeks before the Cook-Off. Donations can be made through the website during this open donation period. Once donations are closed on the website, wristbands are no longer available for purchase. Wristbands are NOT available for purchase on-site at the Cook-Off.

Explain the wristbands to me.

As a donor to Cougar Cookers, you will receive a number of wristbands according to your level of donation. Each wristband admits one person into the Cougar Cookers tent on a specific night – Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Wristbands are specific to each night and are not interchangeable. Wristbands are NOT available for purchase on-site at the Cook-Off.

How and when will I receive my wristbands after I donate?

When you complete your donation, you will choose between shipping (shipping fee required) or in-person pickup. Shipping is offered only for a limited time, and packets are not shipped prior to our first pickup event, usually in January. In-person pickup will be available during two Happy Hour events between the New Year and the Cook-Off, dates TBA. Otherwise, pickup can be made at the event.

Do I need to purchase “Cook-Off Area” tickets too? Why?

YES. Before you can get to the Cougar Cookers tent, you first have to enter the HLS&R grounds. A separate ticket is required.

You can purchase tickets from the rodeo prior to the Cook-Off, or when you arrive at the Cook-Off.

The Cook-Off grounds are filled with the rodeo carnival and midway, and hundreds of other Cook-Off tents.

We HIGHLY recommend that you purchase HLS&R grounds tickets prior to arriving at the Cook-Off. There are often long lines to purchase tickets on site.

Tell me more about Thursday night.

Cougar Cookers sponsors may attend a special reception on Thursday, before the opening of the HLS&R Cook-Off. Because of space limitations, the Thursday night reception is for sponsors only. Special guests from UH often attend the Thursday night reception.

Tell me more about the food and drinks.

Cougar Cookers serves food to all donors and invited guests. Our menu varies, but typically includes: brisket, sausage, chicken, ribs, beans, corn, potato salad, all the fixin’s, plus a few extra items, like nachos and dessert.

Cougar Cookers offers a full bar to sponsors, donors, and invited guests (with wristbands) including soft drinks, beer, wine, and cocktails.

When the Cook-Off dates fall within lent, fish is usually available on Fridays.

I don’t have a PayPal account. How do I donate?

A PayPal account is not required. PayPal in this case is only a payment processor. Please proceed with your donation, and choose the “Pay with Debit or Credit Card” option to complete your donation.