Colleyville When Dustin Wilson got his coffee at Market Street Friday morning he could already smell the grilling.
The Hurst resident, sparked by the aroma of cooking meats returned with his partner, Kristen Russell, and baby, Lyra, to the Colleyville Center for the city’s annual Old Tyme BBQ that raised money for the Special Olympics Texas.
The trio, along with 10,000 other people on Friday and Saturday, ate free fried catfish, plenty of barbecue and drinks.
“It’s nice to do something and spend money for a good cause and not someone’s pocket,” Russell said.
Hall’s Grocery continued the tradition of hosting a free catfish fry where a team cooked more than 150 pounds of fish for a line of hungry attendees. The fry went on past 8:30 p.m.
“No. 1 is supporting the Colleyville Police Department,” Faye Hall said as she organized the team serving the catfish and fixings. “We also believe in helping those that can’t help themselves.”
Longtime Special Olympian Michael Badger, 57, lined up to get catfish with a handful of Special Olympics medals around his neck and a swath of medals hanging around his forearm.
He has competed for 44 years, since he was 13, and returned to the annual BBQ with his parents before heading to a regional cycling competition Saturday.
Michael’s mother, Bobbie Badger, a Colleyville resident, thinks of this event every time she sees the police officers at her son’s competitions.
“I think it’s just the most awesome thing,” she said.
Events on Friday felt like a block party as Riverwalk Drive was shut down and the area was filled with live music and barbecue. On Saturday, Colleyville Center hosted a day of competitive cooking with a sanctioned International Barbeque Cookers Association event.
Organizers introduced a new title exclusive to Colleyville residents called the Colleyville Backyard BBQ Champ Cook-off, with Brad Shields’ brisket taking the crown.
In the annual Kids-Q Cook-off for younger grillers, Brooke Wreay was this year’s winner.
One of the organizers, Colleyville Police Sgt. Kevin Walling, said he hopes to continue raising money for Special Olympics Texas.
“Looking around and seeing the same familiar faces leads me to believe we’re doing something good because they keep coming back,” he said.
While he did not have an estimate for how much was raised, Walling said he was pleased with the turnout and the donations.
“I’m very happy with the way it all ended up,” he said. “The weather cooperated and the people showed up and everybody I talked to seemed to have a really nice time.”