Boots, Buckles & Bears
TBRU 19 “Cowboys and Bears”
Ready or not Dallas, here they come! A “Party with a Purpose” that donates thousands of dollars to deserving local charities; that’s what the Texas Bear Round-Up is all about. Through the help of priceless volunteers, generous donations and willful sponsors, this celebration of bear brotherhood takes place every year to the joy and thrill of those in attendance.
We spoke with Wayne Davis, President Dallas Bears/TBRU and asked what we can expect from this year’s event as bears, cubs and admirers unite for a great weekend of Texas sized hospitality.
Wayne, congrats on going into the 19th year of this great event. For those not familiar with Texas Bear Round-Up what exactly is TBRU?
TBRU is a Big ol’ Bear Family Reunion. Bears, Cubs, Admirers and more gather in Dallas in March every year for a weekend of fun and frolic. One of our favorite parts and the comments we receive is that guys get to see people from all over the world and sometimes it is there once a year time they see each other – so it truly feels like a family reunion. There are lots of events from games, entertainment, food, city excursions and spa excursions and more.
How did the event get its start?
That is a good question. We do not have many founding Bears still with us, but I understand that the first TBRU was held during the first year of the club over 19 years ago. It was certainly much smaller then but I bet the goal is still the same. Gathering the Bear Community and their Admirers and having a great time!
I know that it is not all about the parties but you also are doing this for some worthy causes. Can you tell us about that?
TBRU is a “Party with a Purpose!” We have a great time with all the events and all the sights but for the members of the Dallas Bears this is also a time that we raise funds for local charities. Have fun while doing some good – all at the same time.
Why do you think that out of all the Bear Events in the Nation, this one is one of the most popular?
I hope it is because they have fun and enjoy the events we host. We try our best to provide good ol’ Southern Hospitality. We work all year to plan a fun event and we strive to keep costs to both our Guests and our event as low as possible. Compared to what we offer and other event fees out there we see we offer a low cost event with high expectations for lots of food, entertainment and fun. We partner with local hotels to also make sure we offer an affordable price for lodging as well. I know the guys love our Texas Sized Hospitality Suite… it’s the full ballroom at the Crowne Plaza hotel. We also offer transportation all weekend long to all of our events, which is our largest expense. I am afraid to tell you what that costs – but it is greater than my annual salary at my job (Laughs). We put a great emphasis on our generous shuttle service as a matter of safety and hospitality. We also try to entertain everyone. We are excited to have Paul J. Williams returning as Sister Helen Holy for our famous bingo games and this year we have gay country and western singer Drake Jensen providing a concert at the Saturday night dinner.
This year’s theme is Cowboys and Bears, how do you come up with the themes each year and who decides on the winner.
Our members nominate themes each year and the list gets big. We vote on the floor and narrow it down to about five and then we take a blind vote. The results are only known by one member and our artist (I think that member’s dog knows the results). Then we find out the upcoming theme at our Sunday Closing Ceremonies. As soon as I open up the envelope is when I know the theme and then I announce it to everyone. I have a feeling the theme for TBRU 20 in 2015 is going to be close between two of the nominated themes.
What can attendees expect from this year’s events and are there any new things in store?
We have worked hard to improve our transportation shuttles and this year we have color-coded and numbered the routes. We are so excited to have Drake Jensen from Canada coming to sing for us. This handsome man sure can sing! Naughty Bear Bingo is a new event that Bobby and I have hosted for Leather runs and we are going to try it with the Bears. It is a fusion between Bingo and Strip Poker. I think the fur is gonna fly! We have some awesome prizes in our charity raffle and I know that this year’s BearDance will once again be spectacularly fabulous. There are lots of events to choose from whether it is our numerous pool parties, a new city excursion to a local beer brewery, shopping options or sharing a meal together. We try to offer lots of opportunities for everyone to meet new folks and make lasting friendships. With current events going on in Texas I am waiting for the day that marriage equality comes to Texas and I will be the first to offer my services to join our Bears in legal marriage – it would be awesome to have this special event at TBRU.
Last year you hosted over 1900 registrants, how many are you expecting this year and can you still get tickets?
Registration seems to be running just like the past two years so, I expect around the same number of attendees. the last 5 years we have grown by about 200+ registrants each year. We usually have guys from at least 48 states, and also from other US territories and last year 16 additional countries. I know some of our guys are ready to see a couple of specific hot men from the Russian Federation and New Zealand… just saying. We are overjoyed to have such diverse array of guests.
On-line registration is still open at www.tbru.org. Register NOW! If you miss on-line registration, don’t worry, we still have at-the-door registration all weekend. We will always accept walk-in Guests.
A complete schedule of events and details about our entertainers, hospitality DJ’s and the BearDance DJ’s can all be found on our website.
IF YOU GO
TBRU 19 “Cowboys and Bears”