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It’s rodeo week in Pike County

Memorial Day weekend might mean beach blankets and barbecues for some but around Pike County, “It’s rodeo time.”

The Pike County Cattlemen’s Association’s Professional Cowboy Association (PCA) Rodeo has become a Memorial Day weekend tradition and will celebrate 18 years when the chutes open Friday night.

The 18th Annual Pike County Cattlemen’s PCA Rodeo is a two-day event with the Grand Entry at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, May 28 and 29 at Cattleman Park on U.S. Highway 231 between Brundidge and Troy.

“I remember the first PCA rodeos that the Pike County Cattlemen sponsored,” said Johnny Garrett, association president.

“They were held in an open field right where Cattleman Park is located now. We had to bring in bleachers, pens and corrals and set them up and then take them all down. But, now, we’ve got a permanent setup and we like to think that our arena is one of the best around.”

The covered arena puts Ol’ Mother Nature in the backseat so, if the much needed rains come, the rodeo will still go on.

“We’ve got an exciting rodeo planned with professional cowboys and cowgirls coming from eight to 10 states as well as some area riders,” Garrett said. “We have good participation because, over the year, the riders can earn points at these PCA rodeos that will qualify them for the PCA Rodeo Finals that are held in Las Vegas in the fall.”

The events include steer-wrestling, calf roping, team roping, breakaway roping, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing and bull riding.

The gates for the Cattlemen’s PCA Rodeo will open at 6 p.m. nightly. The Cattlemen will have concessions including, hotdogs, hamburgers, Nachos, popcorn, boiled peanuts and other snack items.

Vendors will be set up inside and out with a large variety of Western-related items.

Advance tickets are $8 for ages 12 and up and $10 at the gate.

Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We started letting kids in free last year so that we could get more kids out here and get them interested in rodeo at a young age,” Garrett said. “And, also that makes the rodeo more affordable for families. Rodeo is a family event so we invite everyone to come out Friday night or Saturday night or both nights and enjoy good family fun at the Memorial Day weekend rodeo at Cattleman Park.

Advance tickets are available at all Troy Bank & Trust locations, Pike Farmers Co-op in Troy, Don Walker’s Western Wear and at all Piggly Wiggly locations.