Ropin’ at the River was a major success and a great testament to Atascosa County’s agriculture and western roots. The City of Pleasanton and Pleasanton Parks and Recreation planned a free event full of western family-fun at the newly renovated Pleasanton River Park facility on Saturday, May 8.
There was a spectacular turnout of locals, vendors and volunteers. The event was held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and the fun never stopped.
Greg Leach, Pleasanton Parks and Recreation Facilities Director, said, “We began planning this event shortly after Merry on Main in December. It was planned in coordination with the Ropin’ Dreams event with the idea of giving families and those who aren’t die-hard rodeo fans a taste of what it means to live in the ‘Birthplace of the Cowboy.’”
The event kicked off with a quilt show featuring gorgeous quilts handmade by locals. There was also a farmer’s market featuring local producers selling homegrown and homemade goods. This included homemade soaps, scents, strawberries, farm fresh eggs, breads, wine, herbs, flower bundles, pastas, jelly and much more.
The Pleasanton Rotary Club also hosted Cow Patty Bingo, which is always a crowd favorite, and gave individuals a chance to win big bucks for a $10 investment that goes towards the Pleasanton Rotary scholarship fund. The winners were Bobby Kinsel III and Miguel A. Tobias.
There were also several educational programs for participants to watch such as The Cow Milking Demonstration, sponsored by the Southwest Dairy Farmers. A Historical Cowboy Exhibit put on by the Atascosa County Historical Commission and the Texas Game Warden – OGT, “Operation Game Thief,” educated participants on the rules of Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Families and individuals had the opportunity to take western photos at the Old Time Photos with Miss Purdy booth. This was available all day, free of charge.
The BBQ cook off was an International Bar-BQue Cookers Association (IBCA) certified event, and BBQ gurus and masters showed off their skills. The grand champion took home $1,000, and the reserve grand champion took home $500. First place for each category received $300, second place for each category received $200 and third place for each category received $100. In addition to the payouts, buckles were given to the grand champion, reserve grand champion and first place in each category. The buckles were sponsored by Sureco Metal Building Construction. For full results, see page 8B.
Interactive activities such as a rock-climbing wall, mechanical bull, hayrides, pony rides and a petting zoo were also available for kids.
The Ole’ West Gunfighters Show was another crowd favorite. This show was a live interactive performance with a group of cowboys in costume and in character.
There were also a considerable about of competitions for those with a competitive side or those looking to win prizes.
There was a corn hole tournament with a cash prize payout. First place received $250, second place took home $150 and third place received $100. The prize money was sponsored by The Gym. Winners of the corn hole tournament are as follows: 1st place Nick Carter and Mo Rhadbane, 2nd place Adrian Garcia and Chavo Rodriguez and 3rd place Cody Smith and Junior Bosquez.
There were also Armadillo Races, where participants were asked to crawl on their hands and knees behind the armadillo and blow on their tails to make them run. The winners went home with a can of Texas Armadillo Milk.
The Texas Tone Rangers closed the evening with live country music.
Leach highlighted, “We were pleased, not only with the numbers that showed up, but how long they stayed. We had a good variety of vendors, food and activities to provide a full afternoon. It is absolutely an event we will be planning in the future. Anytime we can get people out of the house, interacting with neighbors and continue to build a sense of community, that is a formula we want to repeat as often as possible.”