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Pike Cattlemen’s rodeo starts tonight at Cattlemen Park

A dusky dark Thursday night signaled the Pike County Cattlemen’s 2017 Rodeo was in town.

Stock trailers, horse trailers and animals on the foot stirred the dust at Cattlemen Park and activity was brisk as the Cattlemen readied for opening night of the 25th Pike County Cattlemen’s profession rodeo.

“We’ve got 100 to 150 top-notch cowboys and cowgirls that will be competing on Friday and Saturday nights,” said B.B. Palmer, Cattlemen president. “We’ve got the best rodeo stock, the best announcer and the best clown so it will be an exciting rodeo from start to finish.”

The rodeo will feature bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping, breakaway roping, barrel racing and bull riding.

Vendors will have a variety of western items for sale. There will be a petting zoo and pony rides for the kids and wagon rides for everyone. A huge steer will be around and willing to let fans “sit” for a photo. And, of course, the popular Cattlemen’s Concession stand will be open before and during the rodeo. So everyone is encouraged to come early, 5 p.m. tonight and 4 p.m. Saturday for the Western Festival. The rodeo gets off to fast start at 7:30 p.m. nightly.

At intermission there will be arena activities for kids on both nights, including the hoppy horse race. On Saturday night, the rodeo opens at 4 p.m. and features the Western Festival with activities. At the festival, the kids can compete in stick pony races, steer roping, mutton bustin’ and more.

“The Western Festival is a whole lot of fun for families so we invite parents or grandparents or aunts and uncle to bring the kids out for all kinds of rodeo fun,” Palmer said.

Admission to the Western Festival also includes admission to the Cattlemen’s Rodeo that gets underway at 7:30 p.m.

A memorial tribute will be made to Betty Hixon during intermission at Saturday night’s rodeo.

“Betty was a member on the Cattlewomen’s organization when it was called the Cowbells,” Palmer said. “She served in just about every position in the Pike County Cattlewomen and was a strong and active supporter of the Pike County Cattlemen and all of the its youth activities. She was also a longtime member of the Alabama Cattlewomen’s Association and served as its president.”

Palmer said a riderless horse will circle the arena in memory of Hixon.

Rodeo tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the gate. Children ages 12 and under are admitted with their parents.

Advance tickets are still available at Piggly Wiggly in Troy and Brundidge, Don Walker’s Western Wear, Troy Bank & Trust main location and Banks Buy-Rite.