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  • Paul Cooley


Gerry – The 72nd annual Gerry Fire Department’s PRCA rodeo kicks off Wednesday night, August 3, and runs for four nights through Saturday, August 6, at 8:00 with approximately 200 professional cowboys and cowgirls from across the nation competing for more than $45,000 in prize money with a number of cowboys among the top 25 in the World rankings entered.

The competition includes the traditional rodeo events – bareback and saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping, bull riding, and the cowgirls’ barrel racing. In addition each performance will feature the comedy of rodeo clown and bull fighter Matt Tarr and the thrilling trick riding of World Champion Haley Ganzel. The more than 100 head of stock needed for the competition are again being provided by Painted Pony Pro Rodeo Company.

One of the favorite events of the week for many is the barbeque beef dinners offering beef cooked outdoors over aged wood fires, kettle browned potatoes, tossed salad, corn, cottage cheese, roll, ice cream, and a drink served in the air-conditioned dining hall daily beginning at 5:00. A lighted midway houses more than 20 vendors offering everything from Western wear to cotton candy, as well as pony rides, sand art, and face painting for the kids.

Wednesday night is Kids’ Night with $5 tickets for those ages 3-12, while Thursday night offers reduced show tickets for Military and Firefighter members. Saturday evening, fans are encouraged to wear pink to show their support for the fight against breast cancer. Donations will be sent to the Roswell Breast Cancer Research Fund.

Saturday afternoon also features a special free kids’ rodeo for ages 3-8 as they will be competing in rodeo related games such as stick horse riding and a boot-and -shoe race in the arena under the supervision of rodeo competitors. Each kid will receive a back tag and a bandana, and a silver belt buckle will be awarded to the best dressed cowboy and cowgirl. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Registration begins at 3:00 with the games at 4:00

This rodeo is now the longest consecutively running rodeo east of the Mississippi and all proceeds go to the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department in their efforts to protect and serve the residents of the area.

Additional information is available at the rodeo website or by phone at (716) 985-4847 or toll free at 1-888-985-4847. All events go on rain or shine.

Photo: Sixteen steer wrestlers are among the 200 competitors entered in the 72nd annual Gerry Rodeo, August 3-6

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