Young and old enjoyed the first-ever National Day of the Cowboy celebration Saturday in Prairie City.
Youngsters kicked off the event that morning with a parade, which began in the halls of the Blue Mountain Care Center as they gave the elderly residents a closeup look at the United States and 4-H flags, along with dogs dressed in costumes. Some cowpokes rode stick horses, and one young girl drove her friend on a ride-on John Deere.
After following a route down Front Street, friendly competitions began at Prairie City park where there were well over 100 participants and spectators.
Youths and adults took part in a dog costume and dog obedience contest, and, at the same time, kids competed in a stick horse rodeo, complete with bull and bronc riding, horse races and more.
Eight-year-old Kathlyne Page of John Day, decked out in red, white and blue, said she enjoyed performing with her dog Joy in the dog obedience contest.
“It’s a chance to spend time with your dogs and to have fun,” she said.
Both the dog obedience and dog costume contests were headed up by Hope 4 Paws: Grant County, a nonprofit pet rescue organization.
Flora Steffan of Paisley who runs the Herd U Needed a Home dog rescue brought six of her rescue dogs, all border collies.
She gave a dog agility demonstration and taught 4-H kids dog obedience tips.
“It’s great with a nice turnout,” Steffan said of the event. “It’s nice to get to know the community here in Prairie City.”
FFA members from Prairie City and John Day chapters assisted with the stick horse rodeo along with adult volunteers.
Cinch Anderson announced the rodeo with flair, calling out the name of each stick bronc and bull — Widow Maker, War Paint and Hot Tamale — as well as explaining their past and why they would be a tough ride.
A total of about 50 children participated in the day’s events, which ended with an FFA barbecue and a concert featuring singer Brenn Hill and cowboy poet/humorist Andy Nelson and special guest cowboy poet Kathy Moss of Prairie City.
This first-ever Cowboy Day celebration for Prairie City was organized by Moss and Wanda Winegar with help from Judy Jacobs.
Jacobs said they hope to expand it to two days in the future with kids activities one day and horse events for adults on a different day.
“We want to give special thanks to the Grant Union FFA and Prairie City FFA,” Winegar said. “They were a huge help, as well as the other volunteers.”
Moss added the volunteer efforts were “outstanding.”
“I think it’s going to be a great thing if we can continue this on,” she said.
She hopes people will understand the event is about sportsmanship in a fun way.
“I am thrilled with the kids that came,” she said. “I think it could become a great event, and I’m tickled with their sportsmanship.”
Stick horse rodeo
All Around, Coyle Van Cleave
Age 4 and under
Coyle Van Cleave, first
Beau Van Cleave, second
Blain Gravem, third
Henry Workman, fourth
Conley Colson, fifth
Quincee Harper, sixth
Ainsley Piela, seventh
Arria Workman, eighth
Midori Montgomery, first
Brooklynn Kimball, second
Emmie Saul, third
Bransyn Harper, fourth (tie)
Jackson Peila, fourth (tie)
Blake Kimball, fifth
Beau Van Cleave, sixth
Logan Ineck, seventh
Age 8 and up
Anita Peila, first
Tavin Desadier, second
Clayton Ineck, third
Tatyn Harper, fourth
Henry Workman, McKinleyville, California
Aria Workman, Bates
Brooklynn Kimball, Canyon City
Blake Kimball, Canyon City
Emmie Saul, Canyon City
Tatyn Harper, Mt. Vernon
Bransyn Harper, Mt. Vernon
Quincee Harper, Mt. Vernon
Tavin Desadier, Monument
Beau Clingman, Prairie City
Blaine Gravem, Prairie City
Ainsley Peila, Burns
Jackson Peila, Burns
Anita Peila, Burns
Zella LeClaire and Esther, Prairie City
Reece and Blake Jacobs, Prairie City
Colbie Howard, Prairie City
Midori Montgomery and Taliker
Kathlyne Page, John Day
Riley Davis, John Day
Janine Justice, Canyon City
Flora Steffan, Paisley
Preston Davis, John Day
Wyatt Davis, John Day