Two of the area’s biggest events each fall have announced they will join forces, providing a weekend of fun and family entertainment October 5th through 7th here in LaFayette. The 30th Annual Pat Garrett Rodeo and the White Plains Country Fair will come together for three days of rodeo action, live entertainment, great food, games, arts and crafts and much more.
“I’m excited about bringing these two events together,” rodeo organizer Eddie Adams said. “We are going to have a lot contestants and fans in town and it’s going to be great to provide them with something to do throughout the day. It’s going to be beneficial to everyone involved.”
Adams says that as many as 250 cowboys and cowgirls throughout the Southeast will make their way to LaFayette over the weekend, and along with those coming to the Fair, it will be a busy time for the area. “It’s going to have a big impact on the community,” Adams says. “It’s going to bring in a lot of people, whether it’s contestants, fans or fairgoers, it brings money into the community and it’s also a chance to show that we here in LaFayette have the nicest outdoor facility in the southeast with the Chambers County Agricultural Park.”
The Agricultural Park will be buzzing for three days with the rodeo starting at 7 pm CST on Friday, October 5th. The next morning at 10 am the White Plains Country Fair will officially kick off. Rodeo gates will open that day at 5 pm and action will begin at 7 pm. Admission to the White Plains Fair is free, and cost for the rodeo is $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 4-12. Kids three and under get in free. Wristbands will be given out for rodeo admission starting at 5 pm on Saturday. The White Plains Fair will return to close the weekend on Sunday, operating from noon until 5 pm.
It’s a special year for the Pat Garrett Rodeo, not just because of the partnership with White Plains, but because this will mark it’s 30th anniversary. The event, whose namesake is the famous Chambers County native and sheriff who gunned down Billy the Kid, is sanctioned by the Professional Cowboy Association (PCA) and is a highly anticipated event on the schedule. With the PCA’s regular season ending on October 31st, the top cowboys and cowgirls will be on hand hoping to secure a spot in the finals. They will be competing in eight events on Friday and Saturday. Contestants will try their hand at Bareback, Saddlebronc, Tie Down Roping, Cowgirls Breakaway Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Cowgirls Barrel Racing, and the fan favorite Bull Riding to close both nights. Professional rodeo announcer TJ Williams from Poplaville, MS will be calling the event, which will also feature funnyman Heath Breaux.
The White Plains Country Fair has traditionally been held at Sharpe’s Lake just north of LaFayette, but this year organizers are looking for something different and the cooperation with the rodeo seems to be a perfect fit.
Over the years, White Plains has gained a reputation for some of the best food choices around. As usual, bar-b-que and stew will be on sale, along with a number of unique items, including kettle corn, fried Twinkies and funnel cakes. It will provide an interesting mix and traditional fair and rodeo vendors will be on hand throughout the day with numerous arts and crafts, woodworks, pottery, jewelry and western wear.
White Plains has a full schedule of entertainment and performers on both days. Saturday’s lineup includes the Rebellettes and CA Girls, Tina Marie, David Eagle (Billy Ray Cyrus Impersonator), Natalie DeLee, Amber and Dixieland Bluegrass, Callie Knight, E. Paul Jones and Autumn White. Sunday’s musical entertainment consists of Autumn White and 2 Old Men, Abundant Sounds and Going Home.
Over the past few years, one of the most successful parts of the fair is the White Plains raffle. The raffle consists of a variety of prizes and packages this year that includes a flat screen television, Alabama and Auburn baskets, a digital camera, an iPod Shuffle, a portable DVD player, an above-ground swimming pool and gift from businesses throughout the area.
Fans will have the chance to ride a mechanical bull, climb a rock wall or go bungee jumping. Kids can give the calf scramble a try and everyone can try their hand at the Cake Walk.
New to the Fair this year is a Road-Kill Cook-off on Saturday afternoon. The contest, which will take place on site, requires the main ingredient to consist of an animal commonly found on the side of the road, such as rabbits, deer, cows, squirrels or possums. Entries will be judged based on taste, originality, site decoration and presentation. Rules and entry forms for the cook-off are available at Chambers Academy.
Adams expects the 30th edition of the Pat Garrett Rodeo along with the White Plains Fair to be as exciting as ever with activities, great food, live entertainment, and thrilling rodeo action. “It’s going to be entertaining,” he says, “and I think everyone’s going to leave with a smile on their face.”
The Chambers County Agricultural Park is located one mile north of the Chambers County courthouse on Highway 431. For more information about the rodeo call 864-9729. For more information on the White Plains Fair or to pre-order bar-b-que call 864-9852.