For 75 years, Dave Garrett has been a part of the Best Week of Summer. He started as an avid rodeo fan as a teenager and became a volunteer in the early 1950s and still serves as one today. With 75 Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeos under his belt, Dave has seen the annual bi-county Fair and Rodeo grow and mature into the amazing five-day event it is today.
Dave was born in 1930 and moved to Kennewick at age 5 to a property now known as Columbia Park. Following graduation from Kennewick High School, he married his wife, Christine. Together they purchased a horse, and Dave joined the Sheriff’s Posse. Dave is the longest serving member of the Benton Franklin Mounted Sheriff’s Posse.
In the beginning, the Sheriff’s Posse was the rodeo’s sponsoring organization, and the event was known as the Tumbleweed Rodeo. In 1982, the Benton Franklin Fair Association took over the annual rodeo and a contest was held to name the rodeo, and it became the Horse Heaven Round-Up. During these years, Dave continued to volunteer as part of the Sheriff’s Posse security team and as a member of the Top Hands. Dave and Christine volunteered as the chaperones for the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo Royalty from the mid-1950s through 1990.
Dave’s daughters Deborah, Paula, and Toni are former exhibitors and have volunteered in many capacities to support the annual event. Keeping with family tradition, all eight of his grandchildren and several of his great-grandchildren have participated in 4-H and FFA and volunteered at the Fair and Rodeo.
Dave competed well into his 80s and escorted the visiting royalty on horseback in the Horse Heaven Round-Up Rodeo opening ceremonies. You will not be surprised that Dave continues to volunteer with the Sheriff’s Posse today at the age of 93!
The annual Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo is truly a Garrett family tradition. We thank Dave for sharing his time, talents, and family with us, so that his legacy can continue to make the Best Week of Summer just that!