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Cowboy Capital's Funtier Days comin' at ya

Special to the Courier

Pictured: Members of Bandera's 2015 PRCA ProRodeo committee include, front row, from left, Bob Butts, Vickie DeWolf and Janna Lindig; and back row, Grady Desmuke, Linda James, Vicki Browing, Robynn Brown, George DeWolf, Renee Reed, Andy Wilkerson and Charlotte Browning-Black.

During Memorial Day weekend, the local Funtier Days celebration kicks off Friday, May 22, with Bandera ProRodeo's first performance of the PRCA and WPRA rodeo, beginning at 7:30 pm at Mansfield Park.
The arena action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings honors Bandera's rodeo greats, the late Ray Wharton and Scooter Fries. Ada Wharton will continue sponsorship of the calf roping event while Fries and his wife, Sheila, will sponsor the team roping event.
For 30 years, Bandera has hosted PRCA-sanctioned rodeos with the 2015 version being produced by Neal Gay's famed Rafter G Rodeo Company.
For 57 years, Gay and his family have been putting on quality rodeos throughout the Lone Star State and for the last 35 years have produced the Fort Worth Rodeo.
Spectators will watch as top rodeo contestants from around the nation compete for big prize money in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping and barrel racing.
Even little cowpokes in the audience get a chance to compete in stick horse races and the ever-popular mutton bustin'. Signup begins at 6 pm for these two events, but pre-registration is not required for the calf scramble.
New this year is an opportunity for local riders to participate in the stirring Grand Entry that opens every rodeo performance.
Riders and their mounts are asked to show up between 5 pm and 6:30 pm at the Grand Entry Gate at Mansfield Park. Negative Coggins tests are required. Horses must be saddled and ready to enter the arena no later than 7 pm. No riders will be admitted after 6:30 pm.
Grand Entry participants will be given a wristband that will enable them to attend that night's performance of the rodeo for only $5. For more information, visit www.banderaprorodeo.org.
This year's entertainment is three-time pro-rodeo entertainer of the year, Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey. Mounted on his trusty border collie, Whiplash will wow the crowd with his skillful sheep herding.
Rodeo performances will also take place at 7:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24.
The Cowboy Capital fun continues Saturday, May 23, when the Funtier Day Parade kicks off up Bandera's Main Street. The parade begins at 11 am, but spectators are urged to stake their claims early for the best seats along the parade route.
After the parade, stroll over to the Bandera County Courthouse complex and visit the arts and crafts show. While there, take a break and enjoy the free entertainment. And, don't forget to return to the courthouse lawn on Sunday for those final purchases.
Additionally, barbecue lovers won't want to miss the "Get Your Cook-On Barbecue Cook-off," held during the day on Saturday at Mansfield Park, off Highway 16 North. Sanctioned by the Lonestar Barbecue Society, competitors from around the state will vie for points for the Texas State Championship. Some lucky patrons will be tapped as judges.
For more information about Bandera's Funtier Days activities, visit www.banderacowboycapital.com or call 830-796-3045.