It’s boots, broncs and bulls this weekend for Bulloch County as the seventh annual Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo gets underway.
World champion riders will compete along with local amateurs in riding bulls, saddle broncs, team roping, barrel racing and more as Hedrick Rodeo Company brings new stock, a new clown and debuts a brand new original song during the patriotic opening, written by a friend of rodeo company owner Danny Hedrick.
Miss Rodeo USA 2017 Brittany Howard will be on hand to meet, greet and take photos with the crowd, said organizer and Statesboro Kiwanis Club member Bill Anderson.
The rodeo offers two nights of family entertainment — Friday and Saturday — with the grounds opening at 5 p.m. and the rodeo events beginning at 7 p.m., he said. The events are held at a temporary arena at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds on Highway 67.
Hedrick promises an exciting night of family entertainment.
“You’ll never see the same show two years in a row,” he said.
Hedrick and his family — wife Jessica, son Justin and daughter Emily — have partnered with the Statesboro Kiwanis Club since 2011 to bring the family-oriented rodeo to town and has met with sell-out crowds every year, Anderson said.
This year’s rodeo will feature different specialty acts and riders from all over the world, as well as some from around the area. A new clown, Colt Hart, will split your sides with an act that includes a hilarious surprise for the crowd.
Hedrick’s daughter, Emily, and her friend Allison Roberts, a rider with the Dixie Stampede of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, will be trick riding at each show, performing such acts as the “suicide drag” in which a rider hangs precariously from the saddle upside down, the hippodrome and the one-foot stand.
This is a real rodeo, sanctioned by the International Professional Rodeo Association, and will include steer wrestling, barrel racing, team roping, bareback and saddle bronc riding and the ever-popular bull riding. World champions will compete along with local riders, and Hedrick has some champion livestock in his pens as well.
Another thing that will be new to Hedrick’s show is the opening. The parade around the arena will include local riders as usual, but this year’s theme is patriotic, and a brand new song written and performed by his friend and former rodeo rider Bob Corley, called “Fightin’ for That Flag,” will be sure to get attention. The song has a strong message about loyalty and pride in America, he said.
“It’s a song with meaning to it,” Hedrick said.
Anderson said Sandra’s Hats, Back Porch Grille, L&D Produce, Famous Funnel Cakes and Kiwanis Barbecue will be back, as well as Party Harbor’s inflatables, All American camel and pony rides and a mechanical bull.
During the rodeo, the Boot Toss will mean a chance for someone to win a Ford vehicle worth $20,000,
Out of the three finalists each night, one will get a chance to toss a men’s size 10 boot 45 feet and try to ring a 17-inch barrel opening, Anderson said.
The other two chosen will try the same game but for a pair of boots, he said. The contest is each night, but if someone wins the vehicle Friday, all three names chosen Saturday will toss for boots.
“We’re only giving away one vehicle,” he said.
Tickets for the rodeo will be available to purchase at the gate for $16 for adults and $11 for kids, he said.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.