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  • Paul Cooley

Over 200 Professional Cowboys & Cowgirls Set to Compete

More than 200 professional cowboys and cowgirls from 28 states as far away as California and Texas, plus Ontario, Canada, and Brazil, South America, have signed up to compete for more than $50,000 in prize money in the Gerry Fire Department’s 77th annual PRCA rodeo, which kicks off the four-night event at 8 p.m. tonight and continues through Saturday.

The competition includes eight events each night - bareback and saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, cowgirls’ breakaway roping and barrel racing, and the dangerous bull riding. Prize money comes from the fire department and entry fees paid by each competitor. The entry fees range from $70 to $150 depending on the event.

Announcer Greg Simas is returning to describe the action from his seat on horseback in the arena, while funnyman Brinson James promises to keep the fans entertained with his comedy and trick roping. Adding to the fans’ enjoyment is a large stadium style video screen which shows closeups and replays of the action. The rodeo is also available on the Cowboy Channel Plus app.

The event also features the famous barbeque beef cooked for eight hours over wood fires and served with all the trimmings from 5-8 in the air-conditioned dining room. A midway with more than 20 vendors, offering everything from Western wear to cotton candy, opens at 5 each evening. Following each performance, cowboys and cowgirls are available near the ticket booths for photos and autographs.

The event is family friendly with activities for kids on the midway with pony rides, sand art, and face painting. A free kids’ rodeo for those ages 3 -8 will be held on Saturday at 4 where the kids will play rodeo related games supervised by rodeo personnel. The best dressed little cowboy and cowgirl will receive a belt buckle. Registration is at 3.

Tickets or additional information is available on-line at or by phone at (716) 9854847 or 1-888-985-4847 as well as at the rodeo or dinner ticket booths. Combination tickets for both the rodeo and the dinner are available at reduced prices.

Fans are reminded that the show goes on rain or shine, and that the event is alcohol free.

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