Thursday, June 29, 2006
Clydesdale festival draws good turnout
By SUE WATSON
The third annual Clydesdale Christmas Festival last week was a big success for a good cause - raising money to buy Christmas toys for children and gifts for nursing home residents in North Mississippi.
Dry weather and a great rodeo again this year helped turnout, according to Ronnie and Brenda Luther, organizers of the Clydesdale Christmas Store. He estimated from ticket sales that more than 3,000 people, not counting lots of volunteers, attended the festival.
The J Bar B Rodeo and live bands on Friday and Saturday night drew the biggest crowds.
Mary Waldrop and Betty Bailey were winners in the homemadecake and pie contest.
The success of the festival depends on sponsors and lots of volunteer help and support from the citizens in the Byhalia area, Mayor Scooter Dempsey and the board of aldermen of the Town of Byhalia, the Warsaw and Byhalia fire departments, the Byhalia Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Northcentral Electric Power Association and emergency medical units, Luther said.
This year’s sponsors list kept growing right up to the week of the festival.
With the rodeo being the big attraction, all bleachers were filled Saturday evening, according to Brenda Luther.
The two evenings garnered 208 entries in rodeo riding and roping competitions, according to Jerry Bolden, with J Bar B Rodeo.
World Class roper S.L. Pemberton and trick rider Loretta Pemberton brightened up show this year. The Pembertons are from Milan, Tenn., and have been featured at Dollywood and Branson, Missouri, according to Bolden.
He called Loretta Pemberton “a super act.”
“I think she is the best trick rider in the business, she does some acts very few women do,” Bolden said.
Rodeo cowboys and cowgirls were from Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia.
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