The Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas attracted an influx of senior citizens and students Oct. 5 to Hestand Stadium for the 78th Southeast Arkansas District Livestock Show and Rodeo. This day featured health screenings, the Cummins Prison Band, Men in Black, line dancers, Shriners clowns, cow milking simulators and the Arkansas Game and Fish Mobile Aquarium.
The Southeast Arkansas District Livestock Association is a group of volunteers who arrange the parade, fair and rodeo. Barbara Rhinehart comes to the fair every year with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and took in the festivities while flashing a large smile.
“I have very good friends at various booths,” Rhinehart said. “I have a very good friend who is in the poultry. I like to come. I meet a lot of people I do not see too often. I like all the booths and what they are trying to present.”
Rhinehart wore a shirt adorned with the words Jefferson County Democratic Women. Her fellow members of this organization did not have a booth this year so they agreed to wear matching shirts. The Cummins Prison Band performed songs including “Mustang Sally” and took requests from visitors. Betty Bradshaw, the president and CEO of the Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas, deemed the day a success with many guests streaming through the gates. She credited corporate sponsors and volunteers for the success of the fair.
“Most of the stuff has been donated,” Bradshaw said. “Hestand Stadium is not charging us for using the stadium today. … Everything is turning out great.”
Leah Cox of Crossett took a break in the shade and attended the fair with her husband who teaches agriculture in Crossett. She was helping to chaperone her husband’s students who are showing rabbits in the fair.
“I enjoy the fair in general,” Cox said. “I think that with the animals the kids grow every year how proud they kids are to show off their animals. I found out that there is one breed of rabbits that if you let them stay outside and get hot, their ears grow and the judges won’t allow them to have big ears.”
The day began with Dale Dixon, president of the Southeast Arkansas District Livestock Association, welcoming visitors and telling them to enjoy themselves. The White Hall High School JROTC students presented the American flag and people sang the Star-Spangled Banner.
A prayer for peace was offered and a moment of silence was observed to remember the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada.