With efforts from the Nine Man Board and hundreds of volunteers, the Clay County Pioneer Association will put on its annual Pioneer Reunion and Rodeo for the 83rd time Sept. 18, 19 and 20.
Two events that have grown in popularity in recent years precede the three-day gathering of Pioneers.
The ninth annual Power and Praise worship service begins at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14 at the Henrietta Cowboy Church, located at 1784 U.S. Hwy. 287 in Henrietta.
On Monday, Sept. 15, 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 locations and Legend Bank through Sept. 12. No tickets will be sold at the door.
Traditional Pioneer Reunion events begin at 4 p.m. Thursday with the Cowboy Kickoff Parade.
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. The Pioneer Queen and four Duchesses each represent a community of Clay County. The honor of serving as Pioneer Queen or duchess is given each year to a lady of Clay County who has lived in and been of service to her community.
The Pioneer Queen and Duchesses also will be announced during each of two float parades.
The first float parade 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 knot tying competition at the arena.
The 2014 rodeo queen and junior queen will be crowned during the opening ceremonies of Friday’s Rodeo, beginning at 7 p.m.
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.
Winning floats also are featured prior to the Saturday performance of the Pioneer Reunion Rodeo.
Each rodeo performance will include special events, including the countywide FFA calf scramble, mutton busting, ranch bronc riding and a kids calf scramble. This year, stock will be provided by Championship Rodeo Company. Boot drawings will be held during each performance of the rodeo, with boots provided by Cavendar’s Boot City of Wichita Falls on Thursday night, The Browse Shop of Wichita Falls on Friday night and Waggoner’s Boot Center on Saturday.
Cody Shaw and the Rhythm Boys will perform during Friday’s rodeo dance, followed by Steve Bounds and Simply Honky Tonk on Saturday.