Stephanie Pearce: The annual kickoff to summer

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Stephanie Pearce

This upcoming weekend, Grand Olde West Days and Wild West Weekend will be in full swing. Everyone should get out and take advantage of all the community has to offer this weekend. I’m so excited that our community is carrying on the tradition of rodeo in the form of the Wild West Weekend’s Bronc Riding and Sheep Hooking. The dance contest at the barn dance should be so much fun. Kids in our town have been getting together on a regular basis to learn several fancy flips and other dance moves, so even if you don’t dance, watching should be some great entertainment.

These events take me back to being a kid. Even before Grand Olde West Days, it seems we always had a carnival in the summer. I loved going to the carnival. My parents would make my brother and sister take me at least one night. Now, my brother is 10 years older than me and my sister is eight years older than me, so you can bet they were just thrilled to have me tagging along. I distinctly remember one night when we all went on the ride “The Sizzler.” I probably was too small to be on the ride, but they let me on anyway. I loved how fast it went and how it would suck you to one side or the other as it went around. Well, I as it was turning directions, I started to slide under the bar. Now, this is where I found out my siblings didn’t resent me so much. Instead of letting me go, my sister started screaming and they held me in place. They may have been scared, but I thought it was fun.

I remember another time when my cousin Dale was here and we took him to the carnival. Dale is not much of a carnival ride person. The older kids talked me into going on the ferris wheel with him. I will never forget that ride as long as I live. We were stopped at the top and Dale got scared. When Dale gets scared, he prays very loud. He started rocking our cage back and forth while reciting Psalm 23 extremely loud. My cousins and brother and sister just laughed and laughed as we got kicked off the ride. I laugh now, but at the time I was so embarrassed.

Then there were the summer rodeos. We used to have a few. My favorite was the Ride-n-Tie Rodeo. There used to be a queen competition that was a pretty big deal to watch. The girls would model, have interviews, and compete in rodeo events.

Then there was the parade that went with the rodeo. When my friend Glenda was in the royalty, she would let me go hang out with her behind the chutes for the evenings. I never had so much fun as those times at the rodeo with her. Well, OK, it wasn’t all her that made it fun. There’s nothing like cowboys for entertainment.

This weekend, take your family out and celebrate our annual kickoff to summer. Bring them down to the Wild West Weekend Events at the Fairgrounds on Saturday night. You never know what memories they will take home with them.

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