Editor’s Note: The Pioneer Sentinel will post new Pioneer Reunion articles until the event begins, followed by results, photos and other reunion information.
Although it seems a bit early this year, Clay County is gearing up for its 81st Pioneer Reunion and Rodeo, Sept. 13, 14 and 15.
While the Pioneer Reunion and Rodeo is always held the third weekend in September, the first day of the month fell on a Saturday. This year’s even actually begins only two weeks into the month.
View and print complete Pioneer Reunion schedule here
Two popular events precede this year’s Cowboy Kickoff Parade, set 4 p.m. Thursday in downtown Henrietta. The Power in Praise worship service will be at the First Baptist Church on Sunday, Sept. 9 from 6-9 p.m. On Monday, the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce will host the Pioneer Barbecue Kickoff Luncheon to honor all those who volunteer their time to make Pioneer Reunion happen each year. Tickets are $10 and available at the chamber office, Wells Fargo, the First National Bank of Byers and Legend Bank through Sept. 6. No tickets will be sold at the door.
The Pioneer Queen and her court will be introduced prior to Thursday night’s performance of the Pioneer Reunion Rodeo in a 7 p.m. ceremony at Tex Rickard Arena.
Each rodeo performance will include special events, including the countywide FFA calf scramble, double mugging, ranch bronc riding and a kids calf scramble. This year, stock will be provided by championship Rodeo Company.
The first of two float parades begins at 10 a.m. Friday, followed by activities on the courthouse square, including frog and terrapin races, live entertainment by the Texas Troubadours, barbecue lunches catered by Texas Best Barbecue and Catering, and a team doctoring competition at the arena.
The 2012 rodeo queen and junior queen will be crowned during the opening ceremonies of Friday’s Rodeo, beginning at 7 p.m. The rodeo will be followed by a dance featuring Rick Wylie of Wichita Falls, beginning at 9 p.m.
Pioneers will register in the courthouse Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday from 9-11:30 a.m. Registered pioneers, those 60 and older who were born in Clay County, or have lived here for 30 or more years, receive a free barbecue meal.
Float Parade winners are announced during the parade Saturday, followed by the annual Clay County Art Association show, entertainment by Prairie Moon, barbecue lunches and Pioneer activities on the courthouse square. A dummy roping contest and youth play day will be held at the arena Saturday, followed by the Saturday night rodeo and dance, featuring Jake Hooker and the Outsiders.
Boot drawings will be held during each performance of the rodeo, with boots provided by The Browse Shop of Wichita Falls, Montague Boot Company of Nocona and Waggoner’s Boot Center of Henrietta.