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Memorial Day weekend ProRodeo and Funtier Days

By Sandy Jennings BCC Staff Writer

BCC Archive Photos
The Memorial Day PRCA Rodeo starts May 26 through May 28, at Mansfield Park.

Memorial Day, celebrated annually the last Monday of May, is a United States federal holiday for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. In Bandera, the holiday weekend is traditionally celebrated with a PRCA Rodeo, a parade, a trail ride and a Funtier Days Arts and Crafts Show.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-28, BPRA will host the 34th Annual PRCA rodeo that has historically taken place in Bandera, at Mansfield Park. This year marks the third PRCA rodeo hosted by BPRA. RafterG Rodeo will produce this much anticipated rodeo.
“RafterG has produced the rodeos since 2015, they are the perfect producer for Bandera ProRodeo because, like Bandera, RafterG is legendary” Lindig said.
"Sired" by Neal Gay, the Gay family has produced rodeos for 60 years, producing the Fort Worth Rodeo for over 37 years. As published by the PRCA, the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo is “The Biggest Around.” The Fort Worth Rodeo consists of 36 rodeo performances, more shows than any stock show throughout the world.
Currently run by Jim Gay, RafterG saw to it that champion stock was there to handle more than 1,200 bronc and bull rides. The January 2017 edition of the “Western Horseman” featured the Neal Gay family with the title of “RODEO GENES, How Neal Gay’s Family and Rough Stock Launched Rodeo to New Heights.”
“We are honored to have RafterG produce our rodeos,” Lindig said.
Two-time NFR champion barrelman, John Harrison will provide entertainment for the Memorial weekend.
“John Harrison provides high quality and professional entertainment,” Lindig said. “He is a high energy Rodeo Clown with strong acts. He can work the crowd, work the barrel and provide entertaining acts through the rodeo.”
Harrison was selected by his peers to be the 2013 and 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Barrelman; in 2014, he was awarded the Coors Man in the Can and Comedy Act of the Year by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). He also picked up the 2015 PRCA Comedy Act of the Year.
“John gives you the fun, lively atmosphere the crowd should expect and enjoy at a rodeo,” Lindig said. “He offers the best in rodeo entertainment.”
The Memorial Day Weekend rodeos in Bandera take place at the historic Mansfield Park. The rodeos have been dedicated to legendary champion cowboys from Bandera, such as Ray Wharton and Scooter Fries.
There are seven events including Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding, Team Roping, Tie-Down Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling and Women’s Barrel Racing. In addition, for the little cowgirls and cowboys, there will be Mutton Bustin’ and Calf Scramble events and the Wrangler Stick Horse Race.
“Bandera is the Cowboy Capital. We have the tradition of raising rodeo champions,” Lindig said. “We also have the tradition of having great rodeos, including our professional rodeo over Memorial Day Weekend.”
The gates will open at 5:30 pm Friday through Sunday nights, featuring vendor booths and kids activities. Mutton Bustin’ sign up starts at 6 pm and grand entries start at 7:30 pm. Cost is adults $12, children six-12 $6, and under six free. The BPRA is a nonprofit organization and their events are totally volunteer run.
“As part of its purposes, BPRA has embraced the goals of engaging the Bandera County community in the rodeos, educating youth about the history of rodeos in Bandera County and instilling in youth a knowledge of the accomplishments of champion cowboys/cowgirls from Bandera County and how those accomplishments helped give Bandera the legacy as the Cowboy Capital of the World,” Lindig said.
Bandera Regulars Annual Memorial Day Ride will open their gates on Thursday, May 25, located at the City park of Bandera. Sign up will begin at 4 pm on Friday. Everyone that passes through the gates must sign up and wristbands will be given. Current Coggins should be available upon request.
Riders on the three day event will be escorted by Bandera City Marshals to “provide safety for riders and participants.”
A Cattle Call on Saturday at 7:30 am, will bring riders together for a 9 am departure. The day’s ride is approximately 14-16 miles through the Hill Country.
Sunday at 8:30 am Cattle Call will take riders on a 10 am pull out and a ride from camp to the Red Horse Saloon for lunch. Riders will return to the park on Monday for clean-up and departure.
Cost is adults $50 and children six-12 years old are $15. Wagon Masters and non riding children under the age of five are free. Fees include a “Cowboy Fixins” meal on Friday, lunch and dinner on Saturday and lunch on Sunday.
For more information call or text Stacy Black 210-632-9098 or Richard Willette 979-732-4480 or visit their website at
The streets of downtown Bandera come alive on Saturday, with the Annual Memorial Day Parade starting at 11 am. Line up for the parade will be at Bandera City Park on Maple Street at 8:30 am. The parade line-up will leave the Park at 10:30 am. The parade will proceed down Cypress Street to Main Street. At Lowe’s, the parade will turn left and return to park to disburse via 11th Street.
Judging will begin promptly at 10 am and all entries must be in place and riders must remain in place until judging is completed. Trophies will be awarded for first, second, and third place in the following categories Chamber of Commerce/City/Festival, Western Mounted Horse Drawn, Commercial Business and Miscellaneous.
The parade, hosted by the Bandera Chamber of Commerce, is free to enter and requires an entry application to be completed and returned to the Chamber by Friday, May 19. Applications can be downloaded from the Chamber of commerce website at
On the Courthouse lawn from 9 am to 5 pm, on Saturday and Sunday, locals and visitors can shop the Funtier Days Arts and Craft Show featuring over 75 different vendors with everything from food items to handcrafted goods.
Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, Funtier Days offers food, fun and entertainment. The original Bandera Idol contest will take place on the courthouse lawn on Saturday at noon, shortly after the parade. On Sunday, songwriter and vocalist David Kemp will take the stage around 12:30 pm, for some traditional country western music.
For those looking for a place to cool off while enjoying all the sights and sounds on Main Street, Bandera City Park offers swimming, fishing, tubing and picnic areas with BBQ pits. Entry fees of $5 per person for ages four and up will be taken throughout the weekend and on Monday. The City Park entrance on holiday weekends is located at 8th Street and Maple Street.
For more information on other events taking place in Bandera during Memorial Day Weekend, visit