June 16 activities start early | New

The June 19 celebration for Henderson County takes place this weekend, with the return of the rodeo and a comedy show.

Jeffrey Enochs said the rodeo is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 11, more than a week before the actual holiday because the Henderson County Fairpark complex was unavailable the following weekend.

Tickets are $15 and are available at Cavender in Tyler, Boot Barn in Athens, and Cowboy Headquarters. Call Regina at 214-302-9849 or Stephanie at 903-469-2007 to learn more.

Friday night offers a different kind of entertainment with the LAFF Out Loud Comedy Show. The show features Come See host/comedian Marion Stafford, comedian Q, and comedian Grossmann. Online tickets are available at https://bit.ly/3GmY4vu.

Before the show, several vendors will set up to serve their specialties. The food court will be located in front of the Cain Center building beginning at 5 p.m. Treats are available on site or to take away.

Enochs said the rodeo is meant to be a fun event for the whole community and invites everyone in for food, fun and excitement.

The Henderson County Black Rodeo Association began sponsoring the rodeo in 2012 as an entertaining event for the community and a lesson in how the black cowboy played an important role in shaping the west.

The signature event “bulldogging”, now known as steer wrestling, was popularized by a black cowboy, Bill Pickett, who introduced it to the sport.

His biography states that Pickett, who was born in 1870, worked on a ranch, where he saw cow dogs successfully herding steers, calves, and bulls. Pickett noticed that dogs took control of animals by biting the tender part of their upper lip. Pickett tried and it worked.

At the Athens City Council meeting on May 23, Mayor Toni Clay read a proclamation declaring June 19 as “June 19 Emancipation Proclamation Day”, in Athens.

Last year’s Juneteenth event was held at OD Baggett Park and considered a success by organizers. This year, they expect it to be even better.

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