The Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo has been called the largest outdoor rodeo east of the Mississippi, entertaining more than 10,000 spectators a year.
This weekend, the event will mark three decades of roping, riding and wrangling.
No doubt, the excitement surrounding the rodeo continues to grow.
Started in 1982 by Sheriff Mike Blakely as a way to raise money for the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department, the Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo is now considered a successful event that visitors and residents, alike, look forward to every year. The Professional Cowboy Association has called the Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo “Best Rodeo of the Year” and Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourism Association named the rodeo “Event of the Year 2010.”
“Back when I was a teenager, there was always a great rodeo,” Blakely said, referring to when the veterans had one at the fairground. “There are a lot of horse people in Limestone County. We have a great staff that works hard to pull this thing off every year, and we bring top quality family entertainment that people look forward to,” he said.
Thursday morning will feature a slack competition. Admission is $5. Gates open at 9 a.m., slack begins at 10 a.m.
Friday begins with an Exceptional Rodeo starting at 10 a.m. The event, sponsored by Turner Beverage Company, Stateline Sporting Goods and Combined Public Communications, shares the rodeo experience with individuals with special needs.
The rodeo is slated for Friday and Saturday at the arena located at 18118 Alabama 99.
The event will feature bareback bronc riding, calf roping, break-away roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, kids calf scramble, cowgirl’s barrel racing, chuck wagon races, bull riding and professional rodeo clowns and specialty acts. Also up for grabs is $50,000 in prize money.
Gates open at 6 p.m. and the rodeo starts at 8 p.m. each night. Kids entertainment starts at 7 p.m. with the Kids Gold Rush.
The rodeo is produced by Preston Fowlkes with Lone Star Rodeo Company and is presented by Flanagan Lumber Company, Preston's Western Wear, Combine Public Communications, Lynn Layton Chevrolet, Pepsi Bottling Decatur and Halsey FoodService Inc.
Tickets for the Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo will be available at the gate for $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under.
Tickets can be purchased at the Sheriff’s Office, Railroad Bazaar, Jiffy (No. 1 and No. 2), Preston’s Western Wear and West End Chevron and Outdoors, all in Athens, and True Discount in Ardmore, Tenn., and Warren’s BP in Rogersville. Blakely said everything is coming together and those planning to attend who want to save money should buy tickets now. For more information, visit www.limestonesherriffrodeo.com