Many of us old-timers have fond memories of dancing to country and western legends like George Strait and Reba McEntire, watching the colorful floats, bands and riders on horseback march down Washington Street, or taking part in the wild and crazy chili cook-off contests with celebrities such as TV stars (like Gunsmoke’s “Festus”) and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.
And now we’re welcoming the 37th annual celebration, the longest running festival (albeit under different names) in this community which salutes our abundant western heritage, including real-life cowboys, cattle ranches and trail drives.
First, we wish to start with congratulations to Morgan McKinney, who was crowned Miss Western Week 2009 at last Saturday’s pageant at the A.C. Jones High School Auditorium, as well as the other winners of titles, scholarships and prizes. Thanks also to Leticia Muñoz, director, and the pageant organizers.
Saturday has always been the largest crowd pleaser, attracting thousands of visitors to Beeville for the parade, rodeos, dances, chili cook-off, games, arts and crafts, carnival and other events.
This year the Scott Wiggins Band and Perfect Stranger will be the featured performers at the Bee County Expo Center stage starting at 9 p.m.
The Lester Meier Rodeo, with its renowned bucking horses and bulls, returns for two shows at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Expo Center rodeo grounds.
The 72nd annual Bee County Chamber of Commerce Parade, beginning at 10:30 a.m. downtown, will have 93 entries, including marching, rock and Tejano bands, floats, car clubs, horses, etc.
Other highlights on the festival grounds at the Expo Center will include the Pride of Texas Carnival, Silver Spur Mercantile, Reptile Adventures, Magic G Show, petting zoo and pony ride, Texas Longhorn exhibit, performances by Concho Cowboy Gun Fighters, BMX-United Bike Freestyle stunt show and Blazin’ Saddles Barbecue Cook-off.
We all should tip our Stetsons to the Bee County Go Texan Committee members as well as sponsors and contributors for making this such a special event.
When you add in the cooler, fall weather this weekend, that should make this a Western Week that will be enthusiastically remembered by another generation of young cowboys and cowgirls.