The current board of the Dallas Bears with Randy Flores, president, second from left in the back (Courtesy photo)

Texas Bear Round-Up just gets bigger with its 28th season — so here’s how to do it right

RICH LOPEZ | Staff writer

In the late 1900s — ok, 1995 — Dallas Bears decided to host its very first local event geared toward the bear community. Today, the Texas Bear Round-Up (TBRU) is one of the largest bear runs in the world. The event continues to grow and attract not just bears, otters, cubs and admirers from all over, but also marquee talent to perform.

It’s all about a partying with a purpose: Profits go directly to nonprofit beneficiaries in the Dallas Community. This year, Dallas Bears selected Cathedral of Hope Benevolence Fund, Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund and  The Coalition For Aging LGBT as the beneficiaries for TBRU 28.
“TBRU 28: The Roaring ’20s” runs March 21-24 at the host hotel, Hyatt Regency Dallas in downtown. Randy Flores — now in his second year as Dallas Bears president after six years before on the board — and his team all work as volunteers to present TBRU.

Four days of bears, events, excursions and parties can be overwhelming — especially for first-timers. And this hefty schedule for TBRU may look daunting, but you can either go in with a plan or just let it go and let it flow.

Flores offered some wise words about the event as a whole and what to keep in mind as everyone gets their bear on next weekend.

TBRU in Flores’ words
“It was always presented to me as a ‘party with a purpose,’ and I’ve retained that mindset. We plan a weekend of events at the host hotel, excursions so visitors can get a better city experience and an awesome night at S4 with BearDance on Friday night. Our event is fully staffed by volunteers, nobody makes a paycheck, so we’re able to maximize the money we give back to the local community and the impact we’re able to make.

“This event is wonderful because guys who are larger statured or older don’t always get the recognition or affection they deserve. At TBRU, everyone is there because that’s the exact body type and look that they love! I’ve never been to another local event that celebrates body positivity the way TBRU does.

It’s not like any other day where bigger guys are looked over, or should be afraid to approach someone they may typically see as out of their league. Here, the playing field is leveled, and it’s a totally different experience.”


TBRU: The parties
BearDance is the official party of TBRU. Doors open at 8 p.m. Friday, March 22, at S4.  BearDance: Jungle Roar will feature music by DJs Hex Hector and Red Eye. Special guest entertainment will be RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars winner Shea Coulee making her Dallas debut in the Rose Room. The event opens with its Opposites Attract Mixer.

For tickets, visit

These TBRU adjacent parties aren’t part of the official schedule but will still bring all thebears to the yard.

March 20: Bears Boots and Boxers, 10 p.m.  at the Round-up Saloon.

March 23: Beards, Bears and Brews 8, 1 p.m. at Dot’s Hop House and Cocktail Courtyard.

Beef with DJ Tristan Jaxx, 9 p.m. at the Dallas Eagle.

Big Bear Round-up Dance Party with DJ Jamey Boozer, 10 p.m. at the Round-up Saloon.

Mega RAM Party: BEARDONNA, 10 p.m. at Crowne Plaza Dallas Downtown.

March 24: Drew G’s Dirty Pop Tea Dance, 2 p.m. at the Round-up Saloon.

Furball: Bear Zone tea dance with Alex Ramos, 5 p.m. at The Nines.



What’s new for TBRU in 2024
“We’re finally in a position with the event to not only buy out the hotel for Friday/Saturday, something previously unheard of, but to also make significant investments in the future of the event. We’ve got some awesome decor planned, and a fun collaboration with the Hyatt and their HyPride initiative to highlight LGBTQIA+ staff and hotel guests!”

Tips for TBRU virgins
“I encourage those attending for the first time to hold their head high, be confident about themselves and what they have to offer and go into it with the understanding that you may meet some of the best people you’ll ever meet in your life. I certainly did.

“Most importantly, for both guests and volunteers, is to have fun! We work hard to put this on, and the smiling faces or laughter and excitement we see in the attendees makes it all worth it.”
(Ed. note: Also, stay hydrated.)

Hirsute hacks to keep in mind
“The Hyatt itself offers unbeatable views of Downtown Dallas from the terrace suites, so all of the affinity receptions (Asian Bears, Black Bears, or Osos Latinos) take place with access to that outdoor space. It’s a great photo opportunity.

“Our shuttle service runs every night and will go to the host hotel, overflow hotels, The Strip on Cedar Springs, Hidden Door and The Dallas Eagle. Take advantage of the free transportation; it’s included with your run pass.”

What can non-registered guests do?
“Our vendor market features about 60 different vendors from all over the world and is open to the public, ages 18 and older. Friday evening, the Bears take over S4, and those tickets are available to the public (18+) as well. A run pass isn’t required to attend. Tickets can be purchased at

“On Saturday evening, we have the incomparable Darienne Lake as our featured entertainer, and that show is open to the public.

“We also are happy to have an amazing working relationship with all of the gay bars on The Strip and the Hidden Door and The Dallas  Eagle, and each venue is open to the public during TBRU weekend as well. We encourage non-attendees to continue to support the bars, and that’s always a good place to spot some bears!”

What is a common issue the Dallas Bears confront? 
“The thing I see the most is people who just need a little encouragement to come out of their shell. There are always people who feel much more comfortable in their hotel room rather than any of the events, and before they know it, the weekend is over, and they feel like they missed out.

“What the Dallas Bears do incredibly well is our brand of Texas hospitality that starts immediately when you check in. Our registration team always greets people with a smile, and we have volunteers everywhere to answer questions and encourage people to try new things. Anyone we see sitting alone or looking dejected, we are very quick to approach and offer a friendly hand.

“We try to plan different types of events for everyone’s comfort level. If you’re interested in learning more about certain kinks, we offer classroom sessions. If you prefer a quiet environment to read or relax, we’ve got the Chill Lounge. If video games help you unwind, our Video Game Room is the perfect place. And if your happy place is in the middle of a sea of dancing bears, our Hospitality Suite is open every night as well as BearDance Friday at S4.”

What is something about TBRU that people may not know about?
“The positive impact our event has on the local community! Over the years, the Dallas Bears and TBRU have been approached by many different city governments across the nation in an effort to move our event to their locales. The revenue our guests bring into the city is tremendous, and the money we give back continues to benefit those in need. Each year in June, the Dallas Bears, in conjunction with BearDance, distribute our funds to our charitable beneficiaries. I encourage everyone to follow our social media and see the real-world impact an event like this can make on those who need our help the most.”

Online registration is closed but at-door registration begins at noon on March 21 at Hyatt Regency. For a full schedule of events or to purchase tickets to Darienne Lake, visit