Meet the Member Colby Houlton
story by Lindsay Humphrey In Kiowa, Kansas, just about everything is as deeply rooted in family as it gets. That’s especially true for Colby Houlton […]
story by Siri Stevens
The Cherokee Strip Rodeo has been going for 46 years. “We celebrate the Cherokee Strip Land Run back in 1893,” explained Beckey Williams, who has been helping with the rodeo for ten years. “When Oklahoma was a territory, they were giving away land and one of the runs they did was the Cherokee Strip and Perry was part of that.” This was Oklahoma’s fourth and largest land run and took place on September 16, 1893. This was part of what would later become Oklahoma in 1907. The 16th Celebration is a week long affair, and includes a parade, the country fair, livestock show and all that goes with it. “Our courthouse sits on a square downtown and there will be lots of booths, food trucks, and vendors downtown as well.” This year’s festivities include a dance with a great local band providing the music.
The rodeo is put on by the Cherokee Strip Riding Club, a group of people that meet monthly and do several things besides the rodeo. “We have a big play day series throughout the summer and rent the arena to a junior rodeo association as well as putting on a barrel race over Memorial Day.” The club also goes on trail rides as well as camping trips throughout the year. “It’s a great time and we’ve got a lot of good members and people willing to put in a lot of time and effort.” The arena is owned by the club on land donated by the city. “As long as we have a yearly rodeo and a club, the land is ours. Our club has worked really hard to make improvements to the arena; we’ve replaced all the bleachers and redid all our bucking chutes. Our facilities are really fantastic – we even have 8 RV hook ups and we are hoping that the new concession stand is ready – it’s all volunteer work, so we’ll see.”
The rodeo takes place September 15 and 16. This is the last rodeo for the KPRA finals, so they are hoping to get more contestants. The rodeo includes a local team roping as well as ranch bronc riding, which promotes the local people and their talents. “We have a lot of guys around here that will enter the ranch bronc riding. That’s been a big event for us.”
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