Like a breath of fresh air, the Bandera County Courthouse grounds came alive on Saturday, Sept. 5, with the sounds, sights and alluring smells of a big Labor Day weekend party called the Bandera Roundup.
Genie Strickland, who has organized the marketplace activity around the courthouse for decades, was wearing a big smile.
“We are thrilled to have this big response to the Bandera Roundup after not being able to show our other traditional summer events this year. I thought it would really be hot, but the weather was cooler and worked for us, and we didn’t get rained out,” said Strickland. “I would like to thank the local businesses that sponsored this event that brought hundreds of visitors to our community to enjoy themselves and bring an economic boost.”
The marketplace, which was repeated on Sunday, Sept. 6, included entertainment from the Front Porch Pickers, trick roper Kevin Fitzpatrick, musician Dave Kemp and the Ranch Hands, cowboy storyteller Lee Haile, gun twirler Pistol Packin’ Paula and the Bandera Cattle Company gunfighters.
A free campfire breakfast was served to visitors, and a rubber chicken roping competition was one of the activities set up for youngsters.
The Gleinig family from Rockport was wandering around the Bandera Roundup event when 8-year-old Grayson Gleinig spotted an area where kids could try to lasso wooden targets.
The youngster had fun testing his lassoing skills as did his parents and grandmother watching his efforts.
“We were in the area to bring home a new puppy, and we decided to make a weekend trip out of it. It was a perfect first time in Bandera, and we loved it. We will definitely plan to come back,” said mom Kristin Gleinig.
This year’s event did not have the popular longhorn parade down Main Street because it draws so many people it was deemed to be too difficult to hold safely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of longhorns, Main Street was filled up with colorful and patriotically dressed vehicles many carrying Trump political banners as the Bandera County Republican Party held a parade promoting Donald Trump’s reelection as president on Saturday.
The weekend celebration also featured a free art showing and sale by the Western Artists at the Frontier Times Museum in Bandera, which will display the work of those artists through the year, and ranch rodeos put on by the Bandera ProRodeo Association at Mansfield Park on Saturday and Sunday evening.