Cowpokes had a Yee-Haw time at the Habitat Cracker Hoedown

VERO BEACH — Wearing western garb and cowboy hats, folks moseyed on in to the Fifth Annual Habitat Cracker Hoedown, to benefit Indian River Habitat for Humanity.  The donated 1957 Thunderbird convertible, set up at the entrance in a place of honor, might not have fit in with the hoedown theme, but it generated lots of excitement and high hopes, with everyone wanting to be the lucky winner.

Guests entered into the first of two enormous white tents set up on the grounds of Riverside Park for the cocktail hour, where they perused tables filled with silent auction items while listening to the sounds of the Heritage Bluegrass Band.  Auction items included something to tempt all tastes, from sports and travel enthusiasts to gourmets and collectors. The daunting mechanical bull took center stage, awaiting brave rodeo riders, and some exciting new games were added this year.  George Blythe presided over a High Striker game for the guys to contend with, while others opted to sit for the caricature artist or try their hands at the wine toss and “corny” tic-tac-toe games.

The long arm of the law came to town with Sheriff Deryl Loar tossing people into the pokey for a new Hoedown Jail and Bail feature. Andy Bowler, Habitat president/CEO and France Kenyon, advisory chair were the first two arrested and things definitely got competitive as County Commissioner Wesley Davis whipped up the crowd, soliciting bail money to get them out of jail.  Punishment for the loser, in this case Kenyon, was kissing a squealing little piglet that was none too happy about being awakened from his nap!  Later in the evening, Connie Poppell and Sue Croom battled it out.  Poppell’s punishment as the loser was to ride the mechanical bull; a feat which she accomplished successfully.

The second gigantic tent, attractively decorated in down-home country chic, had more than ample room for guests to chow down on a mouthwatering BBQ buffet with all the fixings, catered by Culinary Capers.  Guests dined and rounded out the evening by taking to the dance floor for a little Texas Two-Stepping to the sounds of Hair Peace on the stage.

David Taylor, who has chaired the event for the last three years, credited the volunteers and committee people for the event’s success.  “I’ve learned that the best way to go is to have good people and that’s what I have.”

The events major sponsors included Platinum Pitchfork Sponsors Bill and Mary Ann Becker and the George E. Warren Corp. Bronze Boot Sponsors were Dyer Chevrolet Mazda Subaru, Kimley-Horn and Masteller, Moler, Reed and Taylor. {igallery 83}

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