Columbiana’s Cowboy Day reaches 10th year

COLUMBIANA – The city of Columbiana and the Shelby County Cattlemen’s Association are gearing up to host the 10th annual Cowboy Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17.

According to Mayor Stancil Handley, Cowboy Day began in 2008 as a precursor to the Shelby County Cattlemen’s Association Rodeo, which always takes place during the weekend after Cowboy Day.

“The reason we started Cowboy Day was because we’ve had the Shelby County Cattlemen’s Rodeo for the past 31 years. With the rural lifestyle slowly disappearing from this area, we wanted to highlight the cattlemen a week before the rodeo, and let everyone know that the rodeo is coming to town,” Handley said.

Handley said Cowboy Day will feature activities that are traditionally associated with cowboys, including a lariat (lasso) demonstration, a blacksmith demonstration and a shootout at “high noon.”

“It’s turned into an event that everyone enjoys,” Handley said. “We like to highlight some of the different cowboy skills that have almost been forgotten.”

Columbiana Marketing Director Elizabeth Smith and Handley said Cowboy Day will also include vendors, live music, line dancing, a corn hole tournament, a chili cookoff, a mechanical bull, a petting zoo and horseshoe pitching.

“We’re going to take the horses off of the shoes first,” Handley joked.

Several special guests will be attending Cowboy Day, including Columbiana Middle School student Leah Slaughter, who will be singing the National Anthem, 2018 Miss Shelby County Charity Bowden, the Shelby County Cattlemen’s Association Rodeo Queen and a surprise performer known as “JJ.” Handley did not elaborate further on “JJ’s” identity.

Smith said everyone is welcome to participate in the Cowboy Day parade, which will start lining up on Walton Street and officially start at 1 p.m. She said motorized vehicles are not allowed, but all visitors are welcome to walk or ride livestock in the parade.

Additionally, Handley said this is the first year that Cowboy Day will offer unguided trail rides to visitors who bring their own horses.

“Our hope is that they can be in the parade, and then ride on our trails on their own time,” Handley said.

Handley said Cowboy Day serves to celebrate the city of Columbiana’s past as an agricultural area.

“This was a very rural farm community, and we want our young people to know that,” Handley said.

Handley described Cowboy Day as a “rain or shine” event and said events will be held throughout the day, no matter the weather.

“Cowboys are pretty tough. They still herded the cattle while it was raining,” Handley said. “Plus, it never rains on Columbiana.”

Smith said registration is not required for the parade, and vendors can register to reserve space by Feb. 14. To register as a vendor or find more information about Cowboy Day, Smith said to call 669-5808.