Houston’s Beloved Cattle Baron’s Ball is Making a Big Move — Saying Goodbye to George Ranch Means New Supersized Plans
Bringing the Western Fun to a Baseball JewelBY Shelby Hodge // 01.04.22
Cattle Baron's Ball chairs Sara Parr and Disney Harris are moving the annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society from the George Ranch to Minute Maid Park where Lady A will be the headliner. (Photo courtesy of Gittings)
Lady A will be the featured entertainment at the April 30 Cattle Baron's Ball at Minute Maid Park.
Hold on to your Stetsons and Miron Crosbys, folks. Houston’s beloved Cattle Baron’s Ball is leaving the George Ranch after 34 years during which Victory has raised millions upon millions of dollars for the American Cancer Society.
Fret not, fans of all things Western. The chairs of the April 30th hoedown Disney Harris and Sara Parr assure that the tried and true elements of Cattle Baron‘s Ball will remain with its move to Minute Maid Park. Yes, you can still get your boots shined, bet on pig races, gawk at the saloon girls and take your chances at midway games. The headliner entertainment will be Lady A, which coincidentally has a special connection to American Cancer Society as each of the three entertainers has had experience with cancer either through family members or best friends.
The things you won’t miss about leaving George Ranch? Porta potties, tow trucks called in when rain mucks up the fields of parking, the long drive and the dust.
“It will be a much elevated experience,” Parr says, noting as many others have that the ball had grown tired with the same scene year after year. Basically, the only things that changed were the chairs, the caterer and the entertainment.
From its peak of 2,000 guests, attendance had dropped off to half of that. With the “Texas, Bigger & Better” theme, the chairs are planning on this 35th anniversary celebration to attract 1,400 with seating available for 1,200. At the George Ranch, Victory was limited to seating 800 high ticket buyers.
“We hope that this is the beginning of a growth back to where we used to be with 2,000 attending. We had to do something different,” Parr says. “We will leave them in a very, very good situation and what they do with it going forward will be up to the next chairs.”
The duo has surprises in store particularly inside the white picket fence that will enclose the baseball diamond at Minute Maid Park. Aside from the surprises, one of the most exciting changes is in the catering, which has been handled over the years by all manner of caterers including San Antonio’s Don Strange, Tony’s, Pappas Bros. and Jackson & Company. A new entity joins the party in 2022 — Berg Hospitality Group.
“We are so excited,” Harris says. “Sarah has forged a wonderful relationship with Ben Berg so he will be doing all of our catering. They met up the week before he launched his catering arm . . . He has some excellent surprises and over the top plans for us.”
Among updated amenities to be offered are golf carts at the ready to transfer less athletic guests to the elevators thereby avoiding the steep steps that lead to the floor of Minute Maid. In addition, the Victory team is working with Uber and Alto to perhaps arrange for special Cattle Baron’s transport and contacting neighboring hotels with the hopes of establishing a Cattle Baron’s Ball special rate for the night.
Harris and Parr are five-year veterans of Victory, the arm of the American Cancer Society that organizes the ball. Currently, they say, there are 100 active members and a total membership of some 250.
Details on the ball can be found here.