Today marks my first day as Texas Monthly’s Barbecue Editor. I haven’t actually eaten any meat yet, but it’s only 10 a.m. Give me time. For my first official act, I’m pleased to announce the date of this year’s Barbecue Festival. If you’re serious about Texas barbecue then you’ll want to be in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, November 3rd. That’s right, Sunday, November 3. Just enough time to get the Halloween candy out of your system to make way for the very large and excellent offerings of smoked meat from the bevy of pitmasters who will be in attendance.

Of course, we can’t tell you exactly which pitmasters will be in attendance because, for the first time since Texas Monthly launched the Barbecue Festival three years ago, the event will reflect a brand new Top 50 list. In the June issue, we’ll unveil a new round-up of the state’s top joints, and along with that list comes a whole new group of invitees. So expect a few new faces along with some of the old friends you may have made at past festivals. The Texas Monthly barbecue tasting team has been hard at work for months compiling this list, driving down every country road, kicking up every cow patty, tearing through countless cheap napkins, and sampling more good, bad, and ugly barbecue than ever before. So you’re not going to want to miss this year’s festival.

Again, the special date is November 3. Tickets will be available soon (continue to check in here for more information), but we know you’ll want to save this date. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find some barbecue.