A little gray in the sky couldn't keep the little cowpokes away.
In fact, while they played on tractors and rode ponies, the sun peeked out in front of the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center on Saturday for the Wrangler Family Fun Fair, coinciding with the Augusta Futurity.
The festival featured pony rides; balloon animals; pictures taken atop a longhorn, Maverick; clogging performances; and live music from the local band Livingroom Legends.
Patrick and Rebecca Coffee, ages 5 and 3 respectively, from Luthersville, Ga., had a few seconds atop the gentle steer, during which Patrick bounced on the saddle as his picture was taken.
Their mom, Amy, said that though they have a farm and own quarter horses and even a pony for the children, they've never been to a cutting horse event like the Futurity.
"We're enjoying Augusta," she said, just before the family walked off with Rebecca holding a stuffed pony in her tiny hands.
The plaza of the civic center was full of little ones wearing their finest western duds, including 3-year-old Buddy Harbin, of Millen, who was wearing a cowboy hat and pint-sized chaps along with his boots as he played with his toy gun.
"He said if he didn't wear it, no one would know he's a cowboy," said his mom, Gina.
Buddy won third place in a contest at the festival for the best Little Cowboy.
The rest of the contest winners were:
- Girls: first place, Sharon Finef, 7, of Thomson; second place, Alexandria Meyers, 3, of Evans; third place, Samantha Kennedy-Scott, 5, of Martinez.
- Boys: first place, Alan Michael Walden, 3, of North Augusta; second place, Will Reeves, 5, of Martinez; and third place, Buddy Harbin.
Corey Bernard, an Augusta Chronicle graphic designer who helped to coordinate and emceed the festival, said first-place winners won a free pair of jeans.
Second-place winners got a Futurity T-shirt, and third-place winners got a gift basket from the Make Kids Count program of The Augusta Chronicle.
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