Annual two-day event begins Friday

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, May 25, 2016

NATCHEZ — Grab your spurs, chaps and cowboy hat. The rodeo is back in town.

The sixth Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Rodeo will be Friday and Saturday at the Wayne Johnson Arena.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children, but if purchased at the sheriff’s office in advance, a $2 discount is applied.

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The gates will open at 5 each night, with events starting at 7:30 p.m.

The rodeo is considered an official competition, and all earnings from the rodeo go toward the Tri-State Rodeo Association Finals.

Rodeo Producer Robbie Thomas tried something new with the rodeo last year, having two rodeos, one each night, instead of a two-day rodeo.

“We’re doing that again this year, and we do that for two reasons,” Thomas said. “It helps the cowboys and the community. Having two one-night rodeos means (the cowboys) can make two rodeos in a weekend without traveling. They’ll pull in and just stay, which means Saturday morning they’re going to want to see the sites and eat at the restaurants in town. It becomes an economic value.”

Thomas said nearly 500 cowboys and cowgirls will compete in bareback riding, saddle vault, calf roping, breakaway roping, team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding.

They’ll be competing for $70,000 in prizes and as many points toward the rodeo association finals.

Other entertainment will include rodeo clown Trent McFarland, a Western reenactment group, a calf scramble for children with the chance to win a bicycle and a diamond dig in the arena for women to win jewelry, among other interactive activities.

Sheriff Travis Patten said he was looking forward to his first rodeo because of the people he expects to attend.

“I’m looking forward to interacting with the community,” Patten said. “This is one of those family oriented events where you can come out and have nice, clean fun. You’re surrounded by cowboys and law enforcement — they’re just good people.”

The rodeo is a fundraiser for the Adams County Sheriff’s Deputies Fund.

Patten said the deputies use the money to purchase necessary equipment without using taxpayer money.

The money has been used to purchase computers for patrol cars, Breathalyzer devices and other equipment.

“(The money) goes toward needed equipment that the deputies are trying to purchase that the county may not have allotted for,” Patten said. “Right now, we are in desperate need of body cams. We need to tell the whole story.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office at 306 State St., in Natchez or at the event.

For more information, call 601-442-2752.