For the 80th time, Clay Countians will celebrate the annual Pioneer Reunion and Rodeo beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday with the Cowboy Parade. Events continue on Friday, beginning with the Registration of Pioneers, and run through Saturday night with the final rodeo and dance.
Heading the Clay County Pioneer Association this year is Jack Bevering of Charlie. Born in June of 1940, Bevering is the son of John and Mattie (Willis) Bevering. His father served on the Nine Man Board in 1954 and his mother served as a duchess in 1978. His grandfather, A.H Bevering, came to Clay County in 1874 and also served as President of the Association.
On Nov. 22, 1989 Bevering married wife Linda. He has one daughter, Jackeline Bevering of College Station, and two stepchildren, Wendy Coker and Casey Sims. He has Bevering has six step grandchildren.
Bevering attended grade school in Charlie and high school in Petrolia and has been a lifelong farmer and rancher in Clay County.
Having Served as a member of the Nine Man Board and Chairman of the Board, Bevering is honored to serve as the CCPA president this year, and said he appreciates all of the hard work that goes into the reunion from all the various committees, school districts and many volunteers for their effort to make this event so successful.
Among his duties as president, Bevering will crown the Pioneer Queen at Tex Rickard Memorial Arena prior to the Thursday night rodeo performance. The event begins at 7 p.m. when the queen and Pioneer Duchesses will be announced. the queen and duchesses also will be introduced during the Pioneer Association gathering near the courthouse bandstand Saturday at 1 p.m.
Serving as honorary vice presidents for the 80th Pioneer Reunion are Cotton Shepherd of Bluegrove, Bill Nobles of Henrietta, Ronnie Dowdy of Jolly and Stanley Seabourn of Willow Springs. First Vice President is Carla Sue Pullen of Bellevue, Second Vice President is Linda Bevering of Charlie and Secretary of the CCPA is Judy Davidson of Henrietta.
Registration of Pioneers begins at 9 a.m. Friday inside the Clay County Courthouse, and continues until 3 p.m. Registration will resume Saturday at 9 a.m. and continues through 11:30 p.m. The float parades begin at 10 a.m. with events on the courthouse square and at the Pioneer Grounds scheduled throughout the day.
Registered Pioneers will be served a complimentary barbecue lunch at the VFW Hall located on the northwest corner of the rodeo grounds, while the general public can eat barbecue under the “Tabernacle”, located to the south. Both meals begin at 11:30 a.m. each day.
Other events on Friday include:
Frog and terrapin races on the north side of the square at 11 a.m.
Entertainment by Clint Cozart’s Cherokee Fiddles on the courthouse bandstand at noon.
A team doctoring competition at Tex Rickard Memorial Arena beginning at 12:30 p.m.
And a rodeo dance featuring Tommy Alverson inside Pioneer Hall at 9 p.m.
Other Saturday events include:
The annual Clay County Art Association art show on the north side of the square from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A dummy roping contest on the west side of the area beginning at 11 a.m.
Entertainment by the Lone Star Troubadours on the bandstand at noon.
Pioneer Association awards and elections by the bandstand at 1 p.m.
A youth play day at Tex Rickard Memorial Arena beginning at 1 p.m.
And a rodeo dance featuring Jay Hollis at Pioneer Hall at 9 p.m.