AOPA members gathered at the Fort Worth Stockyards for an evening of food, country-western music and dancing, and an authentic rodeo during the Chowdown in Cowtown evening event.
Guests were able to take photos on a genuine Texas longhorn cow. They also enjoyed a Texas barbecue dinner that included brisket, chicken, beans, pecan pie, and peach cobbler, washed down with ice tea, wine, and Shiner Bock beer. A country-western band sang a mix of classics and modern songs, and members danced a Texas two-step to the music.
After dinner, members walked across the street to the Cowtown Coliseum Arena, home to the Stockyards Championship Rodeo. The evening opened with a stirring rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner accompanied by a cowboy riding around the ring carrying the American flag.
The announcer then gave a warm welcome to AOPA attendees, and acknowledged a longtime, 77-year-old member who was a bull riding champion in Georgia. Guests were then treated to rodeo competitions in bull riding, tie-down roping of calves, and breakaway roping, where contestants are judged by how quickly they can throw a rope on a calf.
The audience was also amused by two groups of children who were allowed into the ring, when, after having fun with a rodeo clown, they were let loose to chase after a calf and sheep.