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Cowboy fest ropes in crowd
Anna Grace Sollosi enjoys a pony ride with help from cowboy Gene McCarn. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
Cowboys of all ages descended last Saturday on Long County for the sixth annual National Day of the American Cowboy Festival, which was hosted by the County Line Barn.
The event began at 9:30 a.m. with an old-time cowboy church service led by Poplar Head Church Elder Tommy Ray. About 60 people attended.
Ray pointed out the similarities between cowboys and shepherds. The two are very much alike, he said; the only difference is the types of animals that compose their flocks. The same goes for Jesus and the flock he leads, the elder said.
“His sheep will not follow a stranger, and the stranger today is the devil,” Ray said.
After the service, festival attendees watched the Miss County Line Cowgirl Pageant. Hinesville resident Marie Strickland, 17, was crowned queen. In the junior division, Allenhurst resident Karena Espey, 14, was the first runner-up. Amber Dubberly, 15, of Glennville, was crowned Junior Miss County Line Cowgirl.
Festivalgoers enjoyed many other activities including a horseshoe-tossing competition, a stick-pony race, best cowgirl and cowboy hat contests and the kids’ steer-roping contest.
The Jimmy Wolling Band entertained the crowd, children were given pony rides and no cowboy, big or small, went hungry. Free hamburgers and hot dogs were served with all the trimmings, and dessert options were plentiful. From cheese Danishes and pecan swirls to vanilla-frosted cake, there was something for everyone.
Event organizer Karen Waters said the annual festival is part of a nationwide celebration to honor the American cowboy.
Festival sponsors were Anderson Feed and Seed, Altamaha Federal Credit Union, Canoochee EMS, Dream Builder Investment, Elysium Graphics, Farmers & Gardeners Supply, Farnam, Kadee’s Korner, M&F Western Products, Montana Silversmiths, Ozark Leather, The Heritage Bank, Town & Country Beauty and Florist, The Western Store and Jacks Incorporated.

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