Those looking for entertainment this weekend will get plenty from the annual Kueckelhan Ranch Rodeo, which will continue for the 62nd year in Bonham, Friday and Saturday.
The annual event, which is held on the family’s working ranch in Bonham at 7036 N. State Highway 78, will feature thousands of people and a few hundred participants. In addition to standard rodeo events, last year’s event also included pony rides, a mechanical bull and carnival-like fare.
Lester Haynes Kueckelhan, known as Haynes to his family, started the rodeo in 1955 when he was a sophomore in college. The rodeo founder, who was also often a participant, died in July 2013 at the age of 77.
Malda Kueckelhan, the wife of Haynes, said last year they never considered not continuing the rodeo. She said the rodeo is her husband’s legacy, and he put in many hours each year planning, researching and searching for good entertainment to join the show. She said the rodeo became intertwined into their lives and thinks the family has even made some improvements to it.
Marty Kueckelhan, the rodeo founder’s son, said a reason the Kueckelhan Rodeo is unique because it has stayed in the family. Marty Kueckelhan said last year that he has grown up with it, and it has become a family tradition.
There’s little more quintessentially Texas, at least in my mind, than a rodeo. I’m not a big rodeo fan, but I have great memories of going to my first rodeo as a child. I don’t really remember any of the events, but I remember my parents buying me my first cowboy hat and the pride I had in wearing it. I’m sure there will be plenty of young attendees at this weekend’s event that will make those same memories.
Happy birthday Friday to Aeson Jones of Sherman; Sterling Spanky Brown of Austin; and Garyn Bevels of Woodworth, Louisana.