The Bill Pickett Rodeo Celebrates 31st Anniversary and Honors the Late Lu Vason-Founder
2015 Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo is Coming July 18th-19th The 2015 nationally renowned Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo (BPIR) will be special and over the top this year. Celebrations are in order for its consistent national tour that has entertained millions over 31 years. BPIR has taken thrilling professional rodeo competitions to delighted audiences and rodeo fans with the most skilled and entertaining Black cowboys and cowgirls worldwide. On Saturday and Sunday, July 18th-19th, the rodeo will ride into the City of Industry at the Industry Hills Expo Center located at 16200 Temple Ave, City of Industry, CA 91744. While many will enjoy African American cowboys, cowgirls and youngsters choke dust and cheer for hard riding competitors as they battle to be named the best after a season of competition; spectators, competitors and the producing staff will honor the late great Lu Vason, founder of BPIR who passed away at the age of 76 on May 17, 2015. Pickett, who was born in Texas in 1870, was a cowhand from the age of 10. He was one of 13 children of former slaves
and is seen today as the father of steer wrestling, where cowboys leap from their horses, grab steers by the horns and bring them down. Pickett sometimes added his own twist by sinking his teeth into a steer’s lower lip. Will Rogers was a big fan of Pickett, and so was Vason.
“Before I started this, I didn’t know about Bill Pickett,” he told the Memphis Commercial Appeal in 2012. “If I didn’t know him, I know other blacks didn’t know him. So that was my charge from then on: To expose the myth that there were no blacks involved in the development of the West or in rodeo. That’s what has carried me on till now,” states Vason.
Long ago, Lu Vason, challenged the false perception of the absence of Blacks in the development of the West, while molding his touring rodeo into an unquestionable success. A former entertainment producer, media impresario and marketing consultant, Vason founded the BPIR in 1984 and today is still one of the few African American Events that has traveled continuously since it started and never stopped! Having validated there had indeed been Black cowboys and cowgirls in the Old West, Vason was inspired to look for and assemble modern day Black wrangles. He did and the Bill Pickett Invitational rodeo was established. The Black rodeo has been a powerful tool in reaching his goals of educating people on the Black West, as well as building a profitable business. This the BPIR is known for bringing exciting entertainment.
Attendees at the BPIR will can expect their favorite competitors during thrilling Calf Ropin’, exhilarating Bareback Ridin’, Bull Doggin, Ladies Barrel Racin’, Junior Barrel Racin’, Ladies Steer Undecoratin’, and gripping Bull Ridin in the perfect location reaching Southern California communities of Los Angeles, County, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. In addition, the BPIR is always a great weekend of high family entertainment. Guests will not only experience watching Black riders, great food, vendors, celebrities but now a Health Pavilion.
The Health Pavilion, sponsored by Black BeautyShop Health Foundation, will provide on-site Health screenings each day: Diabetes , High Blood Pressure, BMI’s as well as provide health educational materials. Fitness games provided by Blue Shield of CA that include Hula Hoop and Jump Rope Contests to win prizes. Sponsorships and booths available.
The 31st Anniversary of BPIR is Presented by: Bud Lite / Co-Sponsored by Andy’s Seasonings an Upscale Magazine. Celebrities are invited to join returning Official Grand Marshall’s Emmy Award Winner Glynn Turman & Actor Reginald T. Dorsey.
In addition, Media invited to attend. Please send requests to Entertainment Publicist KimiRhochelle of KRPR Media for approvals to the following:
TICKETS: Tickets are online are through various ticket outlets. The price range are from $20- $35. Group rates are also available. To purchase online, please visit http://bit.ly/BillPickettRodeo or contact Los Angeles, CA Rodeo Coordinator Margo Wade LaDrew: firstname.lastname@example.org 310.674.6700 Ticket Outlets Wade Events * Inglewood * 310.674.6700
Inglewood Tickets * Inglewood * 310.671.6400 Black Voice News * Riverside * 951.682.6070 Zahra’s Books & Things * Inglewood * 310.330.1300 Industry Hills Expo Center * City of Industry * 626.330.0324 Shades of Afrika * Long Beach * 562.4362210 Shades of Afrika * Corona * 951.285.7888 Venni Mac’s M&M Soul Food * Carson * 310.324.5317 Postal Annex * Carson * 310.538.8285 Compton Employees Federal Credit Union *Compton * 310.605,5502
ABOUT BILL PICKETT: Known as the “Dusky Demon,” Bill Pickett (1870-1932) was the best-known African American rodeo performer of all time. He invented the rodeo sport of bulldogging—now known as steer wrestling—and entertained millions of people around the world, showcasing his bronco-and bull-riding and roping skills in Wild West shows, circuses, and world’s fairs. The professional cowboy and rodeo champion was small in stature but he was a larger-than-life Western legend in his own time. His rodeo career spanned more than 40 years. In 1989, he was inducted into the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), and in 1996, Bill Pickett was the first rodeo athlete inducted into the Black Cowboy Walk of Fame in Denver, Colorado. Retired since 1916, Pickett died in April 1932 following a roping accident. His funeral was one of the largest ever held in Oklahoma. He was buried high on a hill at White Eagle Monument, where the Cherokee Strip Cowboy Association set up a limestone marker in his memory. According to Frank Billings, Colonel Zack Miller of the 101 Ranch called him “the greatest sweat-and-dirt cowhand that ever lived.” For more detailed information about Bill Pickett, please visit http://bit.ly/BillPickettRodeo “Bill Pickett Memorial Scholarship Fund,” a non-profit entity Tax ID #84-1064797