By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
FULTON – Scorching temperatures didn’t stop cowboys and cowgirls from strapping on their boots to enjoy a day of fun on the farm.
The Itawamba Horse Association hosted its third annual National Day of the Cowboy Celebration on Cliff Jarrell’s farm. There were plenty of activities for children and adults alike. All age groups got to chase greased pigs and chickens, there were horseshoe competitions and a cow-calling contest. And for those who didn’t feel like putting their boots to use and walking around the farm, there were carriage, pony and horse rides.
“This is what we do,” said John Bradford of Itawamba County. “To some this is cowboy day but to us, every day is cowboy day. I’m glad people get to come out and share in the life of those of us who live on farms and who ride horses and do other things cowboys did back in the day.”
Samantha Garrison Darby’s mother Tabitha said her 5-year-old daughter loved to eat chicken but she didn’t know she loved catching them too. Darby was one of several children to catch a bird in the chicken chasing contest. She didn’t go to the Cowboy Day looking for a new pet, but that’s just what she got.
“She had fun running him down,” said her father Chris as the bird flapped in his arms. “So I guess we’ll keep this one.”
Catching the greased pig wasn’t as easy. Caleb James, 7, of Fulton tried to wrangle the wiggly, slick pig but had little luck.
“It was slippery and fast,” said Caleb. “I almost had him but he was strong too.”
Jarrell was happy with the turnout and said he was pleased people were getting to enjoy his farm.
One of the main attractions of the day was the horse riding. Sandra Miller of Hamilton, Ala., wanted her sons, Jared and Jason, to enjoy one of her favorite past times as a child.
“You don’t have too many children who get to ride a horse these days, not a real horse anyway,” said Miller. “So I’m glad they are getting to get on a real horse and ride. When I was growing up we didn’t have a four-wheeler, just horses. We’re not going to buy a horse, so I’m glad they are getting to do this today.”
Ten-year-old Jason enjoyed the ride, but for 8-year-old Jared, not so much.
“They smell bad,” said Jared, holding his nose. “I don’t want to ride a horse. I still like them though.”
Jarrell said he hopes to have a cowboy celebration next year.
“Horses have been a part of my life,” said Jarrell. “Now I’m older and my health isn’t as good. So this a way for me to give back to my community. Making memories for the next generation is what it’s all about.”