Freer community members, hunters and residents gathered at The Muy Grande on Saturday to celebrate the Muy Grande Deer Contest 50th anniversary.

Freer Mayor Fabian Bazan made a proclamation for the anniversary.

Muy Grande of Freer and the owners, Leonel and Elda Garza, were recognized in April at the State Capitol in Austin for their annual deer hunting contest.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Muy Grande Deer Contest, one of the state's pioneering hunting competitions.

The contest started after Leonel Garza helped a stranded outdoor sports writer whose truck was stuck in the mud. The writer wrote an article which was picked up by media throughout the state.

Garza, a store manager of Center Circle Gas Station, used his 15 minutes of fame to establish the hunting contest which became an annual tradition.

The contest attracts hunters from all across Texas and the United States.

The contest started out with one category and now has a range of categories divided by age, gender and hunting location.

The contest plays a significant role in Freer's economy by giving back such as providing scholarships to local high school students during the Muy Grande awards banquet.

A silent auction was held during the banquet. All proceeds from the auction went supports the no-profit organization Muy Grande Ministries.