Cowboy Day to highlight western way of life

Published 1:53 pm Thursday, March 17, 2022

By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Take a step back in time to the golden age of cowboys and the developing West on April 2 with Jemison Cowboy Day at Jemison City Park.

This free community event will be a part of the lager Deep South Rodeo and Crawfish Festival being held April 1-2.

Cowboy Day will begin with an opening ceremony at 8 a.m. Live music will be performed throughout the day.

Organizer Jeremy Smith said there would be various cowboy demonstrations, including how cowboys used to cook.

A Wild West shootout reenactment team will perform multiple skits starting at 10:30 a.m.

A barbecue cookoff will also be a part of the festivities. Smith said there will be three categories: smoked chicken, exotic (anything from smoked bologna to deer meat) and sauce.

Entry fee for either of the meat categories is $25 and $10 for the sauce competition.

Contestants can register for the cookoff by contacting Smith at 205-470-7171.

A cowboy parade will start at noon down Highway 31 near Jemison Family Chiropractic turning at Jemison City Hall and proceeding to Main Street.

“That will be open to anyone that has a horse or a wagon that would like to be entered,” Smith said.

Vendor and children’s activities, including horse rides and inflatables, will be set up. There will be a fee for some of the children’s activities.

The Chilton County Cruisers will also have some of their antique cars on display.

Smith said the plan is for Cowboy Day to become an annual event.

“It helps bring awareness for the western way of life,” Smith said. “It will help bring people into the city of Jemison. It is a good family friendly atmosphere.”

The highlight for Smith at these events is seeing how children react and the smiles on their faces.

“It makes it all worth it when look in a little kid’s eyes, and you just see a smile in their eyes —that makes it all worth it,” Smith said.

The Rodeo and Crawfish Festival will begin with a preview day for students the morning of April 1. Smith said this opportunity is open to all of the local schools to come and see a mini rodeo.

“It will be a little educational deal for the kids,” Smith said. “We will explain each event, how each event got started.”

Gates to the main rodeo will open at 5 p.m. with the event starting at 7:30 p.m. The rodeo is sanction through the Professional Cowboy Association. At 7 p.m., riders 6 and under will present “Mutton’ Busting.” Entry fee is $10.

“We will have cowboys from all over the Southeast,” Smith said.

While he will not be competing in the event, Smith is a cowboy himself and competes in team roping. In the past he has also competed in bareback riding and calf roping.

Jemison City Park is located at 383 Brenda Lane.

The Rodeo and Crawfish Festival will be at Ray’s Arena 3298 Highway 191 in Jemison. Cost is $15. Children ages 5 and under are free.

Smith said he was thankful to the sponsors who were making each of the events possible.

“Without our sponsors, there is no way that any of this could take place,” Smith said.

Major sponsors include Timberline Homes, Fantastic Buildings, Porter Mattress Close out Center, Central State bank, Chico’s Tire Shop, realtor Candace Kromer, Mid-State Farms Co-op, Legacy Farms, Sweet Southern Charm French Bulldogs, Jemison Exxon & Subway, Guardian Credit Union and Cooper Farms Rodeo.

Deep South Rodeo Productions and 3R Rodeo Productions coordinate the Rodeo and Crawfish Festival.