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Food trucks, Ferris wheel, zip lining. Longhorns promise 'mini state fair' tailgate setup this football season

Texas fans explore Bevo Boulevard before an NCAA college football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019.

Texas officials were somewhat demoralized last year when the pandemic forced the cancellation of Bevo Boulevard, the pre-game circus outside Royal-Memorial Stadium on game days. The concept was just taking off.

They promised it would return bigger and better than ever in 2021. 

“Mini State Fair coming your way,” UT athletic director Chris Del Conte told the American-Statesman on Saturday. 

Texas plans on blowing the doors off everyone’s preconceived notions, if the information mailed to UT season ticket holders is any indication. This season, UT will unveil a 45-foot tall Ferris wheel, a giant pirate ship, human bowling, zip lining and something called “Tubs-Of-Fun.”

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All carnival games and attractions will be free, the university said. 

Bevo Boulevard opens three hours before kickoff of every home. The season opener is Sept. 4. Kickoff is 3:30 p.m. against No. 23 Louisiana.

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Bevo Boulevard will also offer expanded food choices in the “Hook ’em Hangout” in Winship Circle, just to the northwest of the stadium. Ten food trucks will be lined up along with happy hour drink prices.

And speaking of drinks, Texas will debut “Big Beertha,” a refrigerated beer truck with 15 taps that conceivably can roll straight down Bevo Boulevard itself. 

The school has also announced that Austin’s own Shakey Graves will be the first performer for the Longhorn City Limits pre-game concert on the LBJ Lawn.

Inside the stadium, the Hook ’em Herd returns where kids are allowed to run on the field. Torchy’s Tacos, Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Antone’s, Corn Dog With No Name and Ben’s Soft Pretzels are also getting expanded space in the concession stands. 

All payments inside Royal-Memorial Stadium will be cashless. All major credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay will be accepted.

Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.