Memories of Bonifay’s Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo

Published: Monday, October 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM.



Although my family are not horse people, the rodeo has been a part of our lives through out its history. I remember attending the first one in the mid 40's with neighbor Preston Hewett and until our children all left home, we never missed a performance nor a parade.

The parades were under the direction of Mr. J. Harvey Ethridge for many years and every body turned out. No matter how tough the financial situation, you would not even consider taking a child to the parade without new levy jeans, boots and a cowboy hat, and usually the little boys wore their holsters with 2 six shooters.

Betty Segers and I planned carefully to get our chores done so that we could devote the day for taking our "brood" to the parade. We parked at the home of my sister-in-law, Judge and Ruth Helms across from the jail between the Creel house and the Douglass house. Then we walked to the corner in front of the Douglas house next door to the Woman’s Club House. Now, that whole block contains the First Federal Bank of Bonifay. No one threw candy nor beads. The bands, the clowns, and the horses were the big attraction. We always liked to find many of our friends riding in the parade.

We enjoyed most of all seeing the queens sitting regally on a float or convertible waving royally to the crowd. There was none of the bead or candy throwing from her. She kept her crown and sash in place and we were able to see her face and her dress as she passed and what town or organization she was representing.

Speaking of the Bank of Bonifay, this year they are going all out to entertain the children prior to the parade. They will have hot dogs and drinks. In addition bouncy houses will be provided for the kids, and a professional face painter will also be on hand. All is free.

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