Aug. 6-10, a homegrown display of riding and roping made its way to the Lincoln County Fair grounds situated right outside of Panaca for the county fair.
After the selection of rodeo royalty earlier in the week came the main rodeo itself on Aug. 9-10. On Aug. 9, before any of the riders took to their saddles, the rodeo recognized members of the community who had contributed to the rodeo in the past and who passed away in 2019. Kenny Lee was the first to be honored. His descendants were quoted as saying, “It just ain’t the same without grandpa.”
William L Cox was remembered as a lifelong helper of the 4H and its most staunch donator.
Finally, a tribute was offered to renowned announcer Chad Nickelson, who passed away in a car accident. One last time, the rodeo was filled with the sound of the legend’s voice as his prerecorded cowboy’s prayer was played.
Following this, the rodeo got into full swing, starting with mutton bustin’. The competition was fierce, with blood even being spilled on one run, but in the end it was Cayley Cox who took the prize with her 88-point run.
As big as the rodeo was, it was more than just horses and steers. In the fair building next to the rodeo grounds, people from all over the community gathered to display their achievements. Whether it was a handmade cello, or a well-maintained eggplant, the offerings were varied and talented. There was even a kissing booth from the Loving Care animal society, as well as a classic photo booth where families could use props to recreate a black and white picture. Like a time machine, those that participated could see what they would have looked like back in the earliest days of the county.
The food was delicious as well, with a handful of food trucks gathering at the windy and dusty fairgrounds to help make sure attendees were well-fed. Among these was the Bar X trailer, offering hot dogs and hamburgers made from the highest quality meats. The Cocina El Goyis food truck was also present, moving from its semi-permanent location just outside of Panaca to offer the crowd a taste of wonderful Mexican cuisine.
There were various other activities throughout the event. In the end, the whole fair had something for everyone: fathers could enjoy the 4H trap shoot in the morning, while kids could tire themselves out on the bouncy houses or gorge themselves on the many sweets and delights available just outside the rodeo. And mothers, well, at least they got a break from everyone else.
This year’s fair committee was Kathy Cook, president; Gerri Phillips, vice president; Robin Simmers, secretary/ treasurer; Jared Brackenbury, commissioner, Kylea Lylte, Chaz Mitchell, Chassy Scott and Connie Simkins.