(BASTROP) Step back in time enjoying good, old-fashion fun at the 71st Bastrop Homecoming and Rodeo Tuesday, July 31- Saturday, August 4.
This weekend is truly a homecoming event whereby Bastrop High School classes generally schedule class reunions, with all reunion classes being recognized after the 10 a.m. parade Saturday at the Bastrop Convention Center.
Even in its inception soon after WWII ended, Bastrop civic and business leaders created the first Homecoming Jubilee for area residents and to entice former residents, who spent time in Bastrop at Camp Swift during the war, to “come home” for festivities.
A rodeo, at the new rodeo arena built in less than 6 weeks by William Higgins and his rodeo committee and city officials, was the main attraction for the inaugural weekend, just as it is today. This first rodeo arena had a seating capacity of over 4,000, with reserved seats and judges stands. Today’s rodeo takes place near the original arena site at Mayfest Hill near the American Legion where over the years, old and new friends met for Friday’s and Saturday’s dances on The Legion’s terrace. Today’s evening acts perform at the Ken Estepp Showbarn next to the American Legion.
So, much as in the past, this year’s lineup includes the following activities and entertainment:
AT MAYFEST HILL PARK RODEO ARENA
Tuesday--Barrel Racing with free admission
Wednesday—Slack at 7:30 with free admission
Thursday-Saturday—CPRA Rodeo at 7:30 with Ginger Duke Trick Rider. Ginger brings the Wild West back to life with beauty, courage, speed, personality, and daring horsemanship. For the past eight years, audiences all over the world have been up at their seats watching Ginger’s daring acts on her horses Tee Jay, who started with her, Dollar, a Wyoming Wild Mustang, and Splash, who travels with her worldwide. Admission for the CPRA Rodeo is $10 adult / $5 children ages 6-12.
AT THE KEN ESTEPP SHOWBARN
Thursday—Corn Hole Tournament and Wine and Craft Beer Tasting
Friday—Gates open at 8 p.m.
EXTREME MIDGET WRESTLING—Cheer on the likes of Bruce Lee Ray, Eddie Vato, Red Neck Brawler, and others as they show off their athleticism and entertainment abilities in the ring. $10 general admission or $15 for a VIP ringside pass.
Cap off the evening with local country singer/songwriter BLAKE TORREY who has just released his debut EP Toast to the Stars. This includes three songs written by Torrey including a radio single “Last Night.” Torrey, who frequented Watterson Hall near Red Rock in his younger years claims Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson as contemporary influencers along with George Strait, Clint Black, and Keith Whitley. $10 general admission.
Saturday—Gates open at 8 p.m. $20 all ages or $25 dance/rodeo combination
Bastrop’s own PETERSON BROTHERS BAND kicks off the evening with their old-school blues, soul, and funk jam-band improvisation style. The Peterson Brothers, Glenn Jr. 21 and Alex 19, have played all over the United States opening for greats including Gary Clark Jr., Buddy Guy, and BB King. Currently, they have a weekly residency at Austin’s Continental Club.
WILLIAM CLARK GREEN from Flint near Tyler steps on to the stage next. This American country music singer has a new single hitting the radio waves “Hit You Where It Hurts.” William, Pat Green’s brother, has released four studio albums and one live album. He, along with other musicians including Reckless Kelly, will perform on the upcoming Texas Country Music Cruise in September.
Other activities include a carnival, the Mike Mathison Memorial Horseshoe/Washers Tournament, a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament, and a 4-H Cake Auction.
HISTORICAL DOWNTOWN BASTROP
Saturday—Reunion floats, community floats, and school bands organize at 8:30 at --- for the homecoming parade. The pageantry precedes down Cedar Street on to Main Street beginning at 10 a.m with common class reunions taking place at immediately after at the Bastrop Convention Center. Various reunion classes also elect to host independent gatherings sometime during the weekend.
For homecoming goers’ convenience, a three-night weekend pass can be purchased for $35 through July 29 or $40 thereafter and includes entertainment and the rodeo. Get tickets at https://www.etix.com/ticket/v/13467/mayfest-hill?cobrand=BastropRodeo. Free shuttles will run every 15 to 20 minutes Friday and Saturday nights from the Bastrop Convention Center in town at 1408 Chestnut Street to all events at Mayfest Hill.
Meet up with old friends or make new ones at this year’s Bastrop Homecoming where everyone still enjoys good competition at the rodeo arena, tunes filling the night air at the dance pavilion, and a Saturday parade down Bastrop’s Historic Main Street.