The family of a 13-year-old who died from West Nile encephalitis has founded an annual event to raise awareness of the West Nile virus and benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The Cody Hopkins Invitational Bull Riding and Freestyle Bullfight will take place on Oct. 6 at Mayfest Park & The Bastrop American Legion. The family-friendly event includes bull riding and freestyle bullfight shows, food and beer concessions, vendors and live music.
A native of Bastrop County, Cody Hopkins passed away in 2016. Hopkins contracted West Nile virus from a mosquito bite. Since the incident, his family has worked to spread awareness about the virus, raise money for vaccine research and encourage other parents to take extra caution with mosquito bites.
“Bull riding was Cody’s calling,” says Lacey Hopkins, Cody’s mother. “We hope raising awareness about the issue gets us closer to having vaccination one day, so no parent has to lose their child to a bug bite.”
The event kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 – 12 and free for children under 5. After bull riding, visitors can enjoy the Caden Gillard Band performance at The American Legion next to the arena.
For more information, please visit the Cody Hopkins Invitational Facebook page.