John Pearce of Sugar Land will be the guest speaker for Hopkins County Genealogical Society at their 7 p.m. meeting Thursday, Nov. 20, in the library on Main Street.
Those who visited Sulphur Bluff Elementary Friday can be excused for thinking they’d wandered into the middle of a very eclectic play. The campus resembled a theme park as the school’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Chapter hosted it’s annual reading enrichment activity, Read Across the Bluff.
Each year, Beta supports troops by getting donations of needed items. This year is no exception. Beta Club will be accepting donations through Nov. 21 so they can be mailed to sol diers serving in a branch of the service away from home.
Friday, Dec. 5, First United Methodist Church Family Life Center will be filled with holiday cheer not only from the sugar rush of the heavily laden tables filled with cookies but the knowledge that the funds they contributed will help provide for abused and neglected children and the advocates who represent them in court.
For the cowboys and cowgirls of the United Professional Rodeo Association, next weekend’s finals rodeo is a big deal. Meredith Caddell wants it to be just as big of a deal for Hopkins County.
Dozens of rodeo competitors will be in town next Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the 58th Annual Cinch United Finals Rodeo as their last chance to collect points toward the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December.
As a member of a longtime rodeo family, Caddell, the president of the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce, plans on giving the UFR competitors the welcome they deserve.
Having the cowboys and their families in town for the weekend is good for the local economy, but Caddell said it goes deeper than that.
“They are here for three days — they go to our restaurants to eat, they stay in our hotels, they fill up their big trucks with gas — so it’s really a big economy boost to have them here,” she said. “But also, rodeo is a fun time. It’s family friendly, it’s competitive, it’s high adrenaline. And it’s also all indoor so you’re not battling the elements.”
The rodeo is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21-22, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, in the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center. The top 15 contestants in nine events (team roping, steer wrestling, tie down roping, ladies breakaway roping, barrel racing, bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, ranch bronc riding and bullriding) will compete.
To make the competitors feel welcome in Sulphur Springs, Caddell has several things planned, starting with a UFR ribbon cutting on the square at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20. Activities will include the Circle E stagecoach, country music and some of the UFR cowboys will be on hand to give out autographs.
Friday, Nov. 21, the first day of the rodeo, the chamber is sponsoring a business decorating contest with a prize of $50 and four rodeo tickets. She is asking folks to wear their cowboy hats, jeans and boots on Friday to show their support for the UFR contestants.
“The cowboys want to feel like we want them to be here. It’s a big deal and I think it’s important the community realizes it,” Caddell said.
Her grandfather, Mike Pribble, headlined the Mike Pribble Rodeo for 40 years in Sulphur Springs, so the roping and riding circuit is special to Caddell, and she knows the United Finals Rodeo is one of the most important events on the UPRA calendar this year.
“This is a very big deal for our community to have this rodeo,” she explained. “It brings in some of the top cowboys in the nation. This is their last chance to get points to make it to the NFR in December. They are also giving away tons of money and prizes at this rodeo. So, it’s the biggest rodeo of the year for them.
“It’s a big deal. It’s the rodeo all their families come to. At least a half-dozen or more cowboys who have already qualified for the NFR will be here, so if you follow the rodeo circuit, you will get to see some of those names you recognize,” Caddell added.
The rodeo, which has been held in Sulphur Springs annually since 1979, will pay out more than $220,000 in cash and prizes.
In addition, Sulphur Springs Dodge is giving away a new vehicle at the end of the rodeo Saturday night (you must be present to win). On Friday, the UPRA Handicapable Rodeo will give children with disabilities the opportunity to ride horses. And, the UPRA Rodeo Queen will be crowned.
Pre-sale discounted tickets of $8 for adults and $6 for children (6-12) are on sale at Circle E Western Store and the Civic Center box office. Tickets on the day of the performance are $10 for adults and $8 for children. Caddell said all primary and elementary students in Sulphur Springs will be given wristbands for free admittance with a paid adult.
Local and area competitors who be in the rodeo include Wacey Hathcock of Sulphur Springs in saddle bronc riding, Jake Huie of Cooper and Keon Miller of Ben Franklin in ranch bronc riding, Matt Ingle of Sulphur Springs in team roping (with Cole Wheeler of Flint), Cody McMinn of Campbell in team roping (with Kevin Bacon of Boswell, Okla.), Wyatt Grace Andrews of Winnsboro and Abby Pursifull of Paris in barrel racing and Dylan Wordon of Cooper in bull riding.