- Paul Cooley
73RD ANNUAL RODEO OPENS TONIGHT
GERRY – Professional rodeo comes to the area for the 73rd consecutive year as more than 250 cowboys and cowgirls from 34 states begin the competition tonight at 8:00 and continue each night through Saturday for $45,000 in prize money in the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department’s arena six miles north of Jamestown.
Rodeo fans will be treated to outstanding competition in the seven traditional rodeo events – saddle and bareback bronc riding, tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, cowgirls’ barrel racing, and the dangerous bull riding event. Several of the cowboys entered are ranked in the top 25 in the World standings, including 12-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier, Cody DeMoss, who has passed the $2 million mark in career earnings.
In addition, the event features the antics of rodeo clown and barrelman Clint Selvester and the voice of one of rodeo’s top announcers, Greg Simas, who describes the rodeo action from horseback in the arena. Kids will be a part of the action as they get into the arena for the popular calf scramble, trying to capture ribbons from the calves’ tails.
For many, the traditional barbeque dinners are a “must” in their trip to the rodeo as nearly 3000 dinners will be served during the week beginning at 5:00 each day. The dinners feature roast beef cooked outdoors over aged wood fires and served in the air-conditioned dining hall along with the secret barbeque sauce, deep fried potatoes, corn, salad, cottage cheese, roll, ice cream and a drink.
Also, beginning at 5:00, the midway opens with more than 20 venders offering a wide variety of food and other items from Western wear to fried dough and cotton candy. There will also be activities for kids including pony rides, face painting, and a visit with a clown. Cowboys and cowgirls will be available following each performance for photos and autographs. Fans are reminded that this is a family friendly event with no alcohol permitted on the grounds.
This rodeo is now the longest consecutively running rodeo east of the Mississippi with all proceeds benefitting the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department in their efforts to protect the lives and property of area residents with 300 fire and rescue calls each year. Additional information is available on the rodeo website www.gerryrodeo.org or by phone at (716) 985-4847 or 1-888-985-4847. Spectators are reminded that rodeo, like football, goes on rain or shine.