From July 28-29, the inaugural Keath Killebrew Memorial Rodeo will take place at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson.
The event, which is set to be the International Pro Rodeo Association’s largest gathering of the month, is being held in honor of Madison native and farmer Keath Killebrew. Killebrew died at the age of 44 in a South America plane crash in 2021.
“Keath was my husband of 20 years, he was the love of my life, and I wanted to do something to celebrate him and also something to memorialize who he was as a person,” Alyssa Killebrew, Keath’s widow, said. “Keath was not a man that was born with a silver spoon. He worked hard day and night to create everything that we have as a family, so we are honoring him with this memorial rodeo.”
The Keath Killebrew Memorial Rodeo will feature a plethora of rodeo events with all proceeds benefitting the Keath Killebrew Charisma Award Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi, according to Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson. The award is given out annually to support young people interested in agriculture.
“It’s all for a good cause – supporting future farmers. This is a farm family that experienced a tragedy, and Keith’s wife, Alyssa, is trying to keep his memory alive and do some good in the process,” Gipson said. “It’s going to be 400 cowboys and cowgirls, all your traditional rodeo events, plus bullfighting, and something called bull poker.”
Music acts for the Keath Killebrew Memorial Rodeo will include Chapel Hart on Friday, July 28. The Poplarville-based trio has made a name for themselves in the country music world after a stellar run during season 17 of America’s Got Talent.
On Saturday, July 29, Drake Milligan will take the stage. Milligan, a former AGT alum himself, has been called by many “The New Elvis of Country” with hit songs “Kiss Goodbye All Night” and “Sounds Like Something I’d Do.”
“We’ve got Chapel Hart lined up there on Friday and then Drake Milligan on Saturday,” Gipson continued. “This rodeo is going to be huge.”
Tickets for the Keath Killebrew Rodeo can be purchased online or in person at the Mississippi Coliseum box office. Individual tickets for both nights range from $15 to $30.