Early arrivals are making their way in, and final preparations are underway, for the 34rd annual National Championship Chuckwagon Races in Clinton.
The event, officially taking place over Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30 through Sept. 2, is one of, if not the, largest equine events in the country, local businessman and event promoter Dan Eof, said.
“We think it’s the largest horse event in the U.S.,” Eof said. In 2017 the event registered 5,260 horses and mules, with as many as 12,000 people participating per day, he said.
Spectators are able to watch the racing from a bluff above the racing space. This year facility improvement include rock stairs leading up from the bluff, along with 100 new horse and mule tie-ups. New seating on the bluff by the start line has also been added.
As with previous years, trail rides will be hosted, as will cattle drives. Roughstock riding, bull and bronc, including a children’s class, will also be part of the events. Clinics on Team Roping and Team Sorting are also scheduled, as is Cattle Dog competition.
Concerts take place each evening through Saturday, with the Saturday night show featuring the Country Family Reunion and The Gatlin Brothers. Local musicians Heath Sanders and Lucky Rooster are also scheduled for stage performance.
This year, as previous years, early arrivals has begun as visitors pick out choice camping spots.