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The rodeo returns
Local Kiwanis Club to host event in April
rodeo
In this file photo, Hedrick Rodeo employees work to keep an excited bucking horse in his chute during the first night of the 2019 Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds. The Kiwanis Club of Statesboro is bringing excitement to town for the 11th time this spring, with new acts, more broncs and bulls, and plenty of family entertainment at the annual Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo, set for April 22–23.

The rodeo is coming back to the Boro.

After a one-year COVID-induced hiatus, the 10th Annual Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo will be in town April 23-24, and will also be held at a different venue.

The Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo Committee voted to move the event to the Bulloch County Agricultural Complex at 44 Arena Boulevard in early March as part of an in-kind trade with the county and the Statesboro Bulloch County Parks and Recreation Department.

In years past, the rodeo was held at the Kiwanis-Ogeechee Fairgrounds.

As a result, Camp Cherokee, the annual summer camp held by SBCPRD, will be using the Kiwanis Community Building for the summer camp in the months of June and July.

“We are excited to be able to host our annual rodeo because we feel like people are looking for something fun to do. We are planning to keep our community as safe as possible and will have some COVID-precautionary measures in place,” said Statesboro Kiwanis Club President Ashlee Corbin.

And while the rodeo was cancelled due to COVID concerns in 2020, Kiwanis Rodeo Chairman Bill Anderson welcomes the event back in 2021, even if some pandemic precautions are mandated and attendance is limited.

“That depends on what (Georgia Governor Brian Kemp) tells us in the next month. We’ll be monitoring that along with our EMS people and our Bulloch Emergency Management group,” Anderson said, adding that the governor usually updates COVID protocols around the beginning of every month.

“If we have to put restrictions on, we will. We’re preparing to do that, but we’re hoping to have a pretty good house. We will observe, as much as we can, social distancing and mask wearing,” he added.

Anderson went on to say that event organizers will make every effort to make the rodeo as safe as possible for fans and participants.

“We expect to have masks to hand out at the gate for those who’ve forgotten theirs and plenty of hand sanitizer. I’m hopeful that restrictions will be loosening up a little bit. We’re looking pretty good right now,” he said.

“We’re going to run the rodeo as best we can under the umbrella of current executive orders and conditions.”

Corbin said the entire event is a unique and positive opportunity for the area, even outside of the rodeo itself.

“The Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo is an event geared toward entertaining the community and offering people a chance to see something that isn’t offered frequently in our area. Danny Hedrick and his team put on a great show and the club loves showing Miss Rodeo USA around our beautiful town,” she said.

Hedrick Rodeo Company of Madisonville, Tennessee is celebrating its 17th year in producing rodeos. The rodeo will bring championship professional competition, with riders from all over the world competing in bull riding, bronco riding, calf roping, barrel racing and more to the Ag Center.

The family-oriented rodeo will also include some fun kids’ events, Miss Rodeo USA 2021 Kylee Campbell, and lots of exceptional bulls and bucking horses raised by Hedrick himself.

“We always look forward to coming to Statesboro,” Hedrick said Thursday.

“Statesboro’s always a good rodeo. It’s one that the contestants like, so Statesboro’s built a big following for contestants. We get contestants coming there from everywhere because Statesboro has built a good reputation for having a good rodeo,” he said.

But Statesboro was only one of many cancellations in 2020 that Hedrick said made a large dent in his rodeo business.

“It just about killed us, “he said. “It’s been awful. In 2019, I was doubled and tripled up a lot of weekends. I had 64 rodeos to work, and last year I had 21. It cut my work to a third of what I normally get.”

But he does think this year’s move to the sheltered Ag Center in Statesboro will be a benefit.

“I think this year, moving to the covered arena is going to bring even more contestants,” he said. “Because something most people don’t think about; if I’m sitting here in South Georgia and thinking about going to a rodeo in New York or 18 hours away, and I get there and ride in the mud, I might not go.”

Ticket prices will be $14 in advance for adults. At the gate, adult tickets will cost $18. Tickets for children ages 6-14 are $10 in advance, $12 at the gate. Children aged 5 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Advance tickets will be available at the end of March at Anderson’s General Store located at 23736 US Highway 80.

Sponsors for the 10th Annual Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo include: The Statesboro Herald, Northland Cable, JC Lewis Ford Lincoln of Statesboro and Anderson’s General Store. Many other community sponsors are involved with the Statesboro Kiwanis Club.

The Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo is a fundraiser hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro. All profits are donated back into the community of Statesboro and surrounding area. The Rodeo is one of two main fundraisers hosted by Statesboro Kiwanis.

“We are very thankful for this new partnership with the Kiwanis Club on two very important events in our community—the Rodeo and Summer Day Camp,” says Eddie Canon, Parks and Recreation Director. “Providing safe, fun events is a priority for both of our organizations, which is how we partner successfully on many events throughout the year.”

For more information on the rodeo please visit www.statesborokiwanisrodeo.com or follow the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro on Facebook.

About Statesboro Kiwanis Club

The Statesboro Kiwanis Club was founded in 1960. The non-profit is part of an international effort to help children in need. The majority of our efforts benefit children in this community. A portion of the funds we raise go to help meet Kiwanis International objectives which focus on the special needs of young children from pre-natal development to age 5.

To learn more click here or here.

 

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