The Chisholm Trail Days Western Heritage Festival and parade will be next Saturday, Aug. 23., from 2-6 p.m. on the downtown square – but activities will be underway all week.
The AGvantage Farm & Ranch Chisholm Trail Days Rodeo runs Friday and Saturday nights at the Wise County Fair Grounds Arena. Gates open at 6 each evening, with performances starting at 8. Tickets are $8, available at AGvantage or at the gate, with kids 5 and under admitted free.
Admission is free starting at 7 p.m. for the Thursday night slack at the arena. A dance after the Saturday night performance will feature Jake Hooker and the Outsiders.
Saturday’s festival runs 2 to 6 p.m. around the square, featuring live music, a chuckwagon and tractor exhibit, vendors’ booths and a kids’ corral with jump houses and other activities. The Lone Star Gunfighters will perform at 2:30 and 4:30 along State Street, which will be closed off for the festival.
At 5:30, the parade begins at the corner of Business 81/287 South and East Main St., near the Old Depot, and head west along Main St. to downtown Decatur.
The parade route will cross the square and turn north onto Business 81/287 North, then turn east onto Walnut St. and proceed back across the square, ending at the starting point on Business 81/287 South.
Main Street Director Frieda Haley said princesses and queens from surrounding communities, as well as several riding groups, antique autos and other entries, will be in the parade. Plaques will go to the winning entries in several categories.
Parade entries will begin checking in and lining up at 4:30 at the visitors’ parking lot at Decatur Eagle Stadium.
Following the parade, Legend Bank will host a free hamburger supper at the Women’s Building at the Wise County Fair Grounds for parade participants, who will receive a ticket stub admitting them to the venue.
The rodeo, produced by the Flying C Rodeo Company out of Madill, Okla., is a UPRA, CPRA and TCRA-sanctioned event, with saddle bronc, bareback, team roping, breakaway roping, tiedown, barrel racing, bull riding, ranch bronc riding, steer wrestling and a calf scramble.
With $500 in added money per event, the competition is sure to draw some top cowboy and cowgirl talent to Decatur.
All money raised over expenses will benefit the 2015 Wise County Youth Rodeo and Wise County Youth Fair.
Haley said the event is taking place a little earlier than usual this year because of the change in management at the arena and fairgrounds. After the success of the Youth Rodeo in March, a well-known rodeo producer approached Zane Lasater about doing another rodeo for Dectatur.
They booked the grounds for August 22-23, since there were no open dates left the rest of September and October. Haley said August is the traditional time of year Decatur always had its rodeo anyway.
After the rodeo date was confirmed, the Main Street Advisory Board voted to move the festival to next weekend to coincide with the rodeo.
To call in for rodeo entries, call (903) 873-5214 from 3-10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 18 for timed events and 5-10 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19 for rough stock events.
For parade entry information, rodeo or dance tickets call Zane Lasater at (940) 255-9375.