West Point band’s 35th annual Stars and Stripes Rodeo funds the arts

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Three little cowboys look on at this weekend’s Stars and Stripes Rodeo. / W.C. Mann

CULLMAN – On Friday and Saturday evenings, the West Point High School band boosters hosted their annual Stars and Stripes Rodeo at the Cullman County Agricultural Center.

Said West Point Band Director Ty Parker, “This is our West Point Warrior Band’s 35th annual Stars and Stripes Rodeo.  The band has been in charge of the rodeo for, obviously, 35 years.  A few years ago, it kind of dipped down with attendance and overall profits from the past years, but this is our second year with our treasurer Josh Sellers in charge, and it’s back to what it used to be: huge crowds, a great fun family atmosphere for this Cullman area and surrounding areas to come and enjoy a good indoor rodeo.”

Sellers spent more three months planning the rodeo, securing sponsors and a new stock contractor for this year’s event, along with riding herd on a small herd of student and adult volunteers.  His efforts paid off, with 106 riders, ropers, wrestlers and mutton busters (sheep riders as young as 2 years old.  Yes, they really did!) signing up to compete.  Saturday’s crowd filled the stands, and Friday’s attendance was also reported as high.

Said Sellers, “I just appreciate all the help and the hard work that my (band) parents have put in, and my students.  Last night (Friday), we were trying to count down money when it was over, and I come out of the room and our bleachers was spotless.  These kids really got in here and busted it last night and really, really cleaned up and showed out.  I just want to thank them and thank the parents that stood behind me and the organization.  And our band director (Parker) and our principal (Heith Yearwood).  He come in here last night to support us.  I really appreciate all them.”

Young cowboys and cowgirls tried their hands at mutton busting, while older competitors vied for prize money and bragging rights in bareback and saddle bronc riding, bull riding, barrel racing, breakaway roping, calf roping, team roping and steer wrestling.

It wouldn’t be a rodeo without a pageant and a queen, and the Stars and Stripes Rodeo was no exception:

  • Tiny Miss West Point Rodeo – Makenna Deridder
  • Petite Miss West Point Rodeo – Molly Caudle
  • Little Miss West Point Rodeo – Caroline Wilson
  • Junior Miss West Point Rodeo – Ellie Lorrance
  • Senior Miss West Point Rodeo – Allie Clark
  • Rachel Jackson of Jackson, Mississippi was named 2018 West Point Stars and Stripes Rodeo Queen.

All about the arts

West Point has a rapidly growing performing arts program, but the rodeo is specifically for the West Point Warrior Band and is the group’s largest fundraising event.  According to Parker, this year’s proceeds will go toward the purchase of new band uniforms, paying off debts from the previous marching season and establishing a fund to prepare for the next marching season.

Shared Parker, “We have so many students involved this year, that we’re looking at possibly developing an arts wing at West Point.  I found this out yesterday.  It would have a small theater, a dance studio, an instrumental rehearsal room, all in the school building.  So, we’re trying to really add a space for the number of students we have involved in theater, instrumental music, visual art and in dance, too.  We have over 200 students involved.  We had 80 last year (Parker’s first year), and now we have over 200.”

West Point Theatre will be presenting “Beauty and the Beast” this Thursday through Sunday, March 8-11, and on April 26-29, Parker will be directing “Camp Rock,” one of the state’s first multi-high school theater productions with students from across the county system.  

 

“Beauty and the Beast”

West Point Theatre exclusive

Mar. 8-11, 2018

Fairview High School, 841 Welcome Road, Fairview

 

“Camp Rock”

Countywide production sponsored by West Point Theatre and Fairview Theater Works

Apr. 26-29, 2018

Fairview High School, 841 Welcome Road, Fairview

 

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