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Family fun

Buffalo Crossing
craft show, rodeo, concert in July

Local couple’s work to be featured
in Native American Craft Show

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

BAGDAD, Ky. (July 2005) – Although she’s never had a professional art lesson in her life, Joyce Estes can breathe life into an otherwise blank canvas with her Native American themed artwork. Buffalo, cougars and wolves seem to come alive at the touch of her paintbrush.

Joyce & James Estes

Photos provided

Bagdad, Ky.’s Joyce
and James Estes invoke Southwestern and
Native American themes
in their handcrafted
artwork. They will appear
at Buffalo Crossing
this month.

“I’m a perfectionist in everything that I do,” said Estes.
Painting is something she has always had an interest in, and her watercolor and oil paintings reflect the precise details and the amount of time she puts into her artwork.
Estes will be one of many Southwestern crafters who will have their handcrafted artwork for sale at the Native American Craft Festival on July 16-17 at Buffalo Crossing in Bagdad, Ky. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, examples of Native American artwork will be displayed at this free event.
Estes’ husband, James, also crafts Native American jewelry and weapons. Many of his items are geared toward children. He crafts bracelets, dream catchers and necklaces.
The couple chose to participate in this craft show because it was close to their home in Henry County. James is “really into the Indians,” said Estes, who is originally from Louisville. He began getting serious about his craft eight years ago.
Originally from Estill County, Ky., James is of Cherokee Indian descent, which may account for his fascination with Native Americans. Joyce Estes is of German ancestry.
The Estes have attended bigger craft shows in the past in Henderson, Bardstown and Augusta, and they plan to do more shows now that her husband has retired from the truck driving business.
Estes said she never paints people, only animals and an occasional landscape. She recently returned from a trip to the Smoky Mountains and will use pictures she took while on her trip as inspiration for future paintings.
Estes may even find inspiration at Buffalo Crossing, where a rare white buffalo was born on the farm on June 3. The pure white female calf has received a lot of national attention and is seen by some as a promise of better things to come.
Many Native Americans, such as Lakota Sioux and other Plains Indian tribes, view the white buffalo as a sacred symbol. The calf’s grandfather, Chief Joseph, was the biggest and most expensive 2-year-old buffalo ever sold at the Denver Stock show in Denver. Chief Joseph weighed 1,749 pounds and cost Buffalo Crossing owners Bob and Julie Allen $101,000.
Also scheduled for the same weekend as the Native American Craft Festival is the Buffalo Crossing First Annual I.P.R.A. World Championship Rodeo. The rodeo will begin on Saturday at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m. Advance ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for children. A Saturday night barn dance will begin at 9:30.
Throughout the year, Buffalo Crossing holds many events like this one as fund raisers for various organizations and charities. “In almost everything that we do, we are raising money,” said Buffalo Crossing marketing director Jennifer Cox.
The opportunity for a rodeo arose, and “we went with it,” said Cox. Broken Horn Rodeo is the stock contractor, putting on 25 to 35 rodeos a year.
With more than 40 years of experience in the industry, Broken Horn Rodeo owner Jim McElroy said he was “raised in the rodeo business.” McElroy, his wife, Sandy, sons Kenny and Kevin, daughter-in-law, Cristy, and granddaughter, Josie, make this rodeo a family-run affair.
McElroy, 60, operates the business from his home in Ripley, Ohio, but is originally from an area south of Cheyenne, Wyo.

Rock Art

Photos provided

Joyce and James Estes' rock art
will be just one of the types of unique
items featured at their show.

He said rodeos are “all there is in Wyoming.” His father was a traveling minister and McElroy accompanied him when he was young, getting a first-hand view of the rodeo life.
The most frequent comment McElroy said he received at a recent rodeo in Greensburg, Ky., attended by 6,000 people was that it “was great for the family.” He provides a quality event with world championship cowboys, fireworks and specialty acts. Events include bareback bronc, steer wrestling, saddle bronc, tie-down roping, calf-roping, barrel racing, team roping and bull riding.
There are activities for the entire family at one of McElroy’s rodeos. A stick horse race for children age 6 and under with a bike giveaway appeals to younger rodeo fans.
McElroy is also a farrier, and has worked as the official farrier for the Ohio Quarter Horse Association. After speaking to the Allen’s son, Robbie Brueck, McElroy was convinced that this rodeo at Buffalo Crossing would be a “benefit to both of us,” he said. Brueck is last year’s state champion barrel racer. Brueck recently built an arena at Buffalo Crossing and would like to see more events like this held there.
Free Christian concert set
A free concert by Christian musical group Point of Grace will be held at Buffalo Crossing on July 23. So far, 6,000 tickets have been given out, and organizers expect 10-12,000 tickets to be distributed. Even though it is a free event, a ticket is still needed for admission.
This event, known as River Blast V, will also feature Farewell June, a six-piece group out of Springfield, Mo. Point of Grace is comprised of four women. They have sold 5 million albums, won eight Dove Awards and had 24 consecutive No. 1 singles.

• For more information on these events, contact Buffalo Crossing at (502) 647-0377.

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