83rd Rodeo Queen Kickoff held Saturday
July 16, 2020
Despite COVID-19 and a particularly hot evening that turned into a predominately windy event, the Freedom Rodeo's 83rd Queen Kickoff took place Saturday evening. The temperature soared over 100 degrees and the heat index was around 110 and before the evening event was done the temps dropped and the wind gusted throughout the pavilion at the town park. About 40 people of Freedom gathered to support the tradition of the "Queen Kickoff." This event marks the countdown to the annual Freedom Rodeo that will be Aug. 13, 14 and 15.
Sadie Crusinbery is the Queen candidate, and Brooke DeWitt is the Princess candidate. Crusinbery competed last year and was runner up. She is 19 years old and lives in Alva. DeWitt is 6 years old and is from Woodward.
Dixie Stansberry was named this year's Old Cowhand. She was pleasantly surprised. The Old Cowhand Cookout will be on Aug. 15.
Valerie L. Brown who was the Rodeo Queen in 1991, feels there is nothing like the experience of running for a rodeo queen that can teach life lessons. "Wilene Welty and the Queen and Princess committee have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to order prizes and coordinate Freedom's Queen and Princess Contests for this year's Freedom Rodeo. We all know the tradition of Freedom Rodeo Queen and Princess plays a major role in keeping our rodeo going," Brown said. "As a former queen, I can tell you all that it was a huge learning lesson and an amazing experience I would never have gotten to have anywhere else!"
The threat of storms did not stop the gathering of Freedomites from enjoying a barbecue of hamburgers and hot dogs, a variety of salads, desserts and fresh, cold watermelon. The event began at 6:30 and ended about 8:30 p.m.
Wilene Welty, president of the queen committee, with help of other committee members, gathered over 30 prizes that were auctioned off. The auctioneer was Andy Ferguson from Woodward.