Some of the magic of an event like the Bill Pickett Rodeo is ultimately how normal it all is, so to speak.
Of course, the Bill Pickett Rodeo is the only touring rodeo featuring African American cowboys and cowgirls. That absolutely makes it special. But the normalcy of it is mixed in too, especially at the “Rodeo for Kidz Sake,” which was held Friday morning.
I saw what you would expect to see at a rodeo event targeted at kids: lots of smiling faces, a sense of wonder, the genuine giddiness of being that close to an animal that powerful that most don’t see every day. There was popcorn and funnelcakes, a cowboy themed souvenir stand. And of course, there were cowboys and cowgirls.
In other words, even though I’ve never been to a so-called “white kids rodeo” (that don’t even sound right), I can’t imagine it being much different than what I saw at the Bill Pickett. And maybe that’s the point.
Fresh off the 51st anniversary of the death of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I oddly find myself remixing his legendary “I Have A Dream” speech:
“That one day right there in Memphis, Tennessee, little black cowboys and black cowgirls will be able to join hands with little white cowboys and white cowgirls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. . . “
The “Grown Up” rodeo happens tonight at Agricenter International, with all the traditional competitions: Bull Ridin’, Calf Ropin’ . . . you get the idea. Or you can check out our story . . . and maybe check out the rodeo for yourself. If you’ve never been, it’s a treat!