BENTON, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/YOU)- It’s a family tradition in Columbia County. Top cowboys and cowgirls will participate in the 33rd Annual Benton Rodeo this weekend.
Everything “cowboy culture” will take center stage this weekend. For many who live in Columbia County, this is a long-standing summer tradition.
“I originally started as a vendor back in the 90’s,” says Melvin Parks, Chairman of the Benton Rodeo Association. “From there, I worked in a pizza stand, and then I ran the pizza stand.”
And now, he’s running the place.
For many young cowgirls, performing as a “rodeo chick” is a right of passage. Ladies in their teens to the early 20s spend countless hours with their horses learning a routine that is the show’s opener every night.
“It feels pretty good,” says Kendra Saxton, who’s been riding for 14 years. “I like to talk to the crowd, and wave, and look fancy.”
When things get a little too intense, look to the sidelines for a good laugh.
“I’ve grew up doing this,” says Trent McFarland, a rodeo clown. “My dad was a rodeo clown, so I am a second-generation clown. And when most dads are teaching their kids how to throw a football, my dad was teaching me to put on make up.”
Tickets cost $15, the show starts nightly at 7:30. The last performance will take place on Sunday. For more information go to http://www.bentonrodeo.com.