ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Western Heritage Classic is underway at the Taylor County Expo Center, bringing the past to the present.

Something that’s hard to miss when you walk in the gates at the Expo Center is the line of restored chuckwagons from the 1800s.

It’s all part of a big cooking competition scheduled for Saturday.

Kevin Romines is one of the competitors this year and has been cooking using a chuckwagon for the past 20 years.

“It’s keeping the tradition of the chuckwagons alive,” said Romines.

Romines and his team will work together to cook a meal for 50 people, using just heat from a fire.

“It’s a lot of hard work, but it is a lot of fun,” said Romines.

Romines says his hobby started back in the early 2000s.

“A guy kept asking me to go with him to cook on a wagon in a competition in Ruidoso, New Mexico,” said Romines. “There wasn’t any electricity around and all they had for light was these cool ol’ lanterns”

Romines said he fell in love with the old west and is excited to keep the tradition alive.

“This is the one thing that they’re not gonna take from us,” said Romines. “It’s just, it’s just the ol’ west, you know?”

The competition, scheduled for Saturday, also judges based on the authenticity of the wagon itself.

For a full list of events, visit the Western Heritage Classic website.