Rodeos are all about the atmosphere, where the bulls buck, cowboys (and girls) ride and family entertainment is a focus.
The 33rd annual Noon Lions Club Open Rodeo, will begin each night at 7:30 p.m. June 27-29 at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center outdoor arena.
A traditional rodeo, it serves as a fundraiser for the organization. The members of the club and a stock contractor work together to generate funds for the club’s eyeglass program and multiple scholarships.
“It’s a reunion as much as it is a rodeo,” said Joe Henderson, event chairman. “We like to keep that atmosphere.”
There will be anywhere from 500-600 contestants of all skill levels from rookie to professional come from around the country to compete at the three day rodeo. Bullriding, breakaway roping, team roping and barrel racing are among the events that bring the community and fills the stands.
Dwight Frick has served as the stock contractor for the event since it first began.
“We raise all our bulls,” said Frick, who has raised a top 5 ranking bull in the world. “There will be about 25 bulls at the rodeo.”
Along with the bulls, Frick will also provide about 15 bucking horses for the event. Frick said he has a few of both animals that will be a challenge for even the most professional cowboy out there including a one-horned bull who can turn on a dime and a painted horse that can really get up in the air.
Frick also provides his crew to work the rodeo.
“He has a crew of good guys who know what is going on,” said Henderson. “They know what the cause is and are tuned into that.”
For the kiddos, there are numerous events planned for them to participate in such as mutton busting, children’s calf scramble and a nickel toss. Thursday is family night, where ticket prices are decreased so the entire family can attend.
“It’s family-oriented,” said Henderson. “You can bring your lawn chair and sit right up next to the fence because we want you to lay back and enjoy it.”
For those not so interested in the rodeo aspect of the event, they can find satisfaction at the concession stand where Henderson said the Noon Lions members take pride in the burgers and hot dogs they serve — for a reasonable price.
Tickets will be sold at the gate each night, however, to get them beforehand, wrangle up one of the three Rodeo Ambassadors — Tristen Spivey, Kevin Womack or Fallon Warren. Each youth has flyers posted throughout Stephens County, providing information on how to get in contact with them.
The ambassador who raises the most earns the Rodeo Ambassador title and the winner is announced just after the opening ceremony Saturday night of the rodeo.