Eighteenth annual Jackson Black Rodeo returns after being canceled last year due to pandemic
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - After getting canceled last year because of the pandemic, the Jackson Black Rodeo is back this weekend.
Hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls from all across the southeast reunited in the Capital City for an event that is now 18 years strong.
“Man, I really missed it,” JBR participant Montrel Gilder said. “Some of the guys we haven’t seen in like two years, and we just hang out, have fun.”
“It feels amazing to be back,” JBR participant Labrelah Hutchins said. “With COVID-19 and everything, you weren’t able to enjoy the environment with your rodeo family.”
The Real Cowboy Association’s president, Jarriett Edwards, said it’s a rodeo family that stretches from coast to coast.
“There’s people from Milwaukee, California, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arizona, and more,” Edwards said.
With the state so far behind in vaccinations as well as concerns over the Delta Variant, he said guests were encouraged to wear masks, and hand sanitizer stations were placed throughout the coliseum.
“We wanted to bring all the family members together,” Edwards said. “Those that have lost loved ones and those that are still trying to continue for loved ones that they have lost. We want to be safe.”
Edwards said the goal of the rodeo is to show everyone that it’s not about race.
“It’s about the cowboy and the cowgirl,” he said. “They strive and work hard every day and get in the dirt, and they all get in the same dirt.”
He also said the event inspires kids to become cowboys and cowgirls, veterinarians, or even start a ranch of their own. Something Hutchins said she’s seen first-hand.
“I have little nieces. I have a niece that’s 20 years old; I have a 12-year-old niece, eight and four. They all ride horses, and they all look at me as a role model to compete as well.”
Copyright 2021 WLBT. All rights reserved.