81st Osage Cattlemen’s Convention starts Thursday

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

For the 81st consecutive year, the Osage County Cattlemen’s Association will hold its annual convention here Thursday through Saturday.

As in the past, the OCCA events are to be based at the Osage County Fairgrounds. However, downtown Pawhuska will again be the focal point of the convention’s early activities Thursday. Hosted by the Arts and Preservation in the Osage and sponsored by the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce, “Cattlemen Uncorked” is to feature culturally-correct entertainment for the convention-goers. Check-ins will be at downtown’s newest restored gemstone — the Drummond Building, on the northeast corner of Main Street and Kihekah Avenue.

The meat of the Cattlemen’s Convention is served on Friday at the Fairgrounds’ Agricultural Building, 320 Skyline Drive. Following morning registration and the opening of the event’s trade show, the OCCA Luncheon and Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame Banquet gets underway at noon. After the luncheon, at around 2 p.m., the cattlement will conduct their annual business meeting.

At 6 p.m. Friday, the OCCA Ranch Rodeo will have the best hands from each of the county’s participating ranches in competitions designed to showcase their everyday work skills and more. The event is to be held in the OCF Outdoor Arena — which should get plenty of use over the next 24 (or 28) hours.

Saturday activities start at 8 a.m. with a complimentary breakfast served at the arena. Tours of featured ranches in east and central Osage County will begin at 9 a.m. and are supposed to conclude in time for a barbeque lunch starting at noon in (and around) the Ag Building.

By then, the convention’s longtime featured entertainment should already be two hours along. The 62nd-annual Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping — for the first time in its long and colorful history — will be an officially-sanctioned event of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). As such, this year’s local roping has drawn more than 90 pro entries, whereas past invitation-only draws have included only about 35 ropers.

The Ben Johnson Memorial event is to begin with the introduction of entries at 8 a.m. in the Ag Building. Competitive roping starts at 10 a.m. and will continue through the day. At 2 p.m., Junior Steer Roping and Kid’s Dummy Roping contests are scheduled in or near the arena.

With three full rounds and a short go for the finals, it’s hoped the main roping competition will be concluded before the Cattlemen’s Dance gets going at 8 p.m. in the adjacent OCF ClarenceBrantley Indoor Arena at 8. (Doors are to open an hour earlier.) The Great Divide band is to be the featured musical entertainment.

Steer roping tickets cost $10 apiece. A $25 ticket provides admission for the roping, as well as to the OCCA dance. Tickets can be obtained at the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce Office, 210 W. Main. They also are available online at: BenJohnson.PreferredFan.com For more information about the OCCA Convention, contact Jeanne Strom at 918-338-9495.