Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Roger Harnack
Gazette Publisher 

Berquists make show in Freedom Rodeo


Caleb Berquist of LaCrosse prepares to throw his loop at the Freedom Rodeo.

BASIN CITY - What do you call it when more than 3,000 rural residents get together for the Fourth of July to rodeo, parade, dance and shoot off fireworks?

Well, rodeo clown turned Freedom Rodeo announcer J.J. Harrison calls it a "cowboy protest," a protest in which ruralites build up America instead of tearing it down. Harrison, of Walla Walla, emceed the inaugural Freedom Rodeo on July 3 and 4 in this city of 1,100 people in Franklin County.

The mask-optional "protest" rodeo took place in defiance of Gov. Jay Inslee's coronavirus-related shutdown of the county, and the state. Indeed, Basi...

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