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TBRU 24: The Best Little Bear-House in Texas – one of the best bear events

I have been to many bear events in my time but until this year I had never made it to Texas Bear Round Up (TBRU) and after having gone this past weekend; I may never miss it again! All photos featured in this article are by Louis Dang and Mikey Enriquez.

TBRU is the annual bear event hosted by the Dallas Bears. It is usually held in mid-March and is currently held in downtown Dallas at the Regency-Hyatt hotel. The theme for this year was “The Best Little Bear-House in Texas”, a loving tribute to The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas starring Dolly Parton.

The common areas had décor referencing all elements of the movie and there was even a special performance by ‘Miss Mona’ at the opening ceremony of the weekend held in the hospitality suite, which was actually one of the hotel’s ballrooms.

The fact that the Hospitality Suite was a ballroom should give you an indication of the immense popularity of this event. Over 1500 bears were in attendance this year alone. Men of all races, shapes, sizes gathered together in an atmosphere that was fun, sex positive and most importantly, welcoming.

The first event I attended was the Bears of Color Social, co-hosted by Mr Texas Leather 2019, Kaprese Andre.  The fact that this was even on the event schedule made my heart sing!

The Bears of Color meet

There was also an Asian Bear Social and a mixer for Deaf Bears & Friends. Furthermore, all the key events, like the Mr. TBRU contest, had an ASL interpreter.  There were also daily meetings for men in recovery. It touched and inspired me to see such inclusivity at a bear run.

Asian Bear Social

Given the size and diversity of the event, the Dallas Bears had their work cut out for them in terms of providing entertainment. Within the hotel, we had Miss Mona’s Parlor (otherwise known as the Connections Lounge), where people could hang out in an alcohol free environment to chat or play board games. Sheriff Ed Earl’s Video Game Room provided an awesome set up for the gaymers among us. There was the glorious Chicken Ranch (or Hospitality Suite), which featured an open bar and a DJ. All of this was provided in addition to a movie screening room, a Puppy Play House, the vendor market, and raffle and bake stands where money was being raised for local charities.

For those who wanted to head out to the bars, there was a complimentary shuttle bus that ferried us back and forth to the gayborhood. Some personal off-site event highlights for me included the Hard Candy Bear Dance party held at S4, “Church” at The Hidden Door (a huge indoor/outdoor beer bust), the Big Texas BBQ held at the Round Up Saloon, and just hanging out at the Dallas Eagle. No matter what your taste or interest, there was truly something for everyone.

The Dallas Bears, under the capable and passionate leadership of Wayne Davis, have cultivated a spectacular event. I met so many wonderful and friendly people at TBRU. There was a noticeable lack of attitude and instead a strong sense of brotherhood and community.

If you haven’t attended before, do yourself a favor and register for TBRU XXV: A Roman Holiday. Registration opens soon, see for details.

See you there!

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John Hernandez

John Hernandez is the Editor in Chief of Bear World Magazine. In addition to bear culture, he specializes in entertainment writing with a special focus on horror and genre films. He resides in New York City with his husband.

3 thoughts on “TBRU 24: The Best Little Bear-House in Texas – one of the best bear events

  • Great coverage and review of this event. I only wish they had another event in the same year. If you miss Texas Bear Round Up then you miss yourself. A must event for bears and their admirers.

    Marlon Kelsey
    Los Angeles, California

  • too much popularity for tbru… ive been in the past… it seems like its more of a big boys socal event!

  • i have been to many over the years for TBRU – back when it was a small event (600 men) and have watched it grow to abut 1400-1500 men the past few years. The men who run the event work hard. and each excursion you can attend is well thought out.
    I am looking forward to attending this year, and wish you all who have not attended to consider
    joining in on the fun.

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