BOWIE (KFDX/KJTL) — June 27 was the last day of the 54th annual Jim Bowie Days Rodeo and Celebration. The celebration went as planned after Governor Abbott expanded local authority on gatherings of over 100 people.
It’s been a month since a tornado tore through the city of Bowie. Because this rodeo is very important to the Bowie community, local officials chose to approve this community gathering.
With the coronavirus pandemic and the May tornado tearing through Bowie, there was some concern that the rodeo wouldn’t happen this year. But with Governor Abbott giving local officials power over large gatherings, the rodeo went on as planned.
“One right on top of the other just left us with a little bit of a bleak future,” Bowie Mayor Gaylynn Burris said. “But Jim Bowie Rodeo Association puts on a fabulous event every year the last 3 years It’s grown this year especially. This year is very important to us.”
On Saturday morning, there was a parade downtown. After that, there was a pet parade, turtle races and a frog jumping contest. There are less than 20 cases in Montague county but there was minimal social distancing and mask-wearing at these events.
“We were a little more fearful because always at the last minute. We used to just have to worry about weather and we did have some weather this week,” Burris said. “But this year we always had that underlying issue of ‘will they or will they let us not do something?'”
“Everyone just needs to stay safe but it’s really good to get be able to get back out and enjoy my favorite sport of rodeo,” 2019 Little Miss Jim Bowie Days Brooke Smith said.
“I am thrilled that the rodeo is starting back up because I’ve been like practicing my horse a lot more and I’m kinda ready to see how it goes with her,” 2019 Miss Jim Bowie Days Faith Garrett said.
The Bowie community feels this tradition is something special to celebrate.
There will also be a fundraiser at Bowie’s Pelham Park on Monday to raise funds for disaster relief in the community.