HENRIETTA (KFDX/KJTL) — There are a number of festivities happening in Henrietta this weekend, from rodeos to parades and even a turtle race.
The 92nd Clay County Pioneer Reunion kicked off Monday, September 11, and Thursday, I went to the Cowboy Parade and caught up with the president and rodeo queens about the upcoming festivities.
Since 1932, Clay County natives have gathered to honor their founders. The Pioneer Reunion celebrates history, longevity and the spirit of this area.
“This has been going on now for 92 years,” Pioneer Reunion Association President Joe Davidson said. “This is a 92nd reunion – it’s been a special, special time for this county and for all the people in the area. You know, people live here and maybe move off, and all of us, they enjoy coming back and meeting or remaining or getting reacquainted with old friends, and all that’s been here for a long time.”
It’s a week-long affair of people coming back to visit their roots.
The week is filled with parades, a rodeo and so much more.
“We just had the horse parade here,” Davidson said. “We have the first round of the rodeo tonight, and we’ve crowned the Pioneer Queen. I get to do that in the arena.”
Speaking of queens, Miss Rodeo Kat Hand and Clay County Junior Rodeo Queen Laycee Littlefield were crowned at last year’s event and have been the stars of this year’s Reunion.
“That is a whole week-long event,” Hand said. “We had our annual Queen’s meeting here in Henrietta, Texas. And then we had a power of praise, which is where all the Clay County churches get together, and we worship and have a great kickoff week.”
The Queens have many duties throughout the Pioneer Reunion week.
“We had our kickoff luncheon on Monday, and then we did school visits on Monday,” Hand said. “So we’ve really had a great week, and then it rolls into today with our Queen competition, and then we have parades tomorrow and Saturday.”
Kat and Laycee will soon give up their titles, but not before they have the chance to enjoy their favorite parts of the week.
“My favorite event in Pioneer Reunion is probably the barrell racing because I will be competing in it tonight,” Littlefield said. “Personally, I think both of us love the whole thing entirely, but one unique thing is the frog and turtle races that we do at the Pioneer Reunion, and that’s Friday morning after the parade. They’ll dress the turtles up, and they’ll line them up and race them, and the winner gets a prize. So that’s a fun, unique part of it.”
Even though the Reunion started Monday, there are still plently of activites to come out and enjoy.
Friday’s float parade begins at 10 a.m. in downtown Henrietta and will be followed by a full day of fesitivites the entire family can enjoy.
For more information, including a schedule of the Pioneer Reunion, check out their website here.