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Saddle up for a wild ride

4th annual Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo to feature inaugural BBQ competition


April 08, 2014

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    The Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo returns for its fourth year this weekend, and this time, area grillers will compete in a barbecue contest held on the grounds.
    Grilling enthusiasts will spend all day Saturday, April 12, barbecuing chicken, steak and ribs, competing against each other in the first ever "Bulls, Broncs and BBQ" event. Statesboro Mayor Jan Moore and others yet to be named will serve as judges, choosing the best in each meat category, said rodeo co-chairman Don Poe.
    Cash prizes for winners totaling $2,600 will be awarded, he said. In each category, first place will win $300, second place $200, third place $100, and fourth runner-up $50. Also, the team with the best-decorated rodeo-themed cook site will win $200, and the team with the most points (i.e., winners in multiple categories) will take home $500.
    Although the competitors will not sell their grilled entries, the Statesboro Kiwanis Club will offer "competition-worthy barbecue sandwiches," Poe said.
    The rodeo will be held Friday,
April 11, and Saturday, April 12, with one show each night. Gates open at
5 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday, allowing visitors to come early and enjoy activities before the rodeo begins at 7:30 each evening.
    Attendees can spend pre-rodeo time browsing food booths and vendors offering jewelry, cowboy hats, accessories and more. Kids can play on inflatable attractions, and the younger crowd will enjoy pony rides and bungee jumping, while adventurous adults can try their skills on a mechanical bull. Rodeo contestants will be available to meet visitors, as well as Miss Rodeo USA Lisa Swenson, who hails from California.
    Danny Hedrick, owner of Hedrick Rodeo Company of Madisonville, Tenn., said this year will bring new broncs, new bulls, new contestants and a new clown.
    "Contestants have been saying this is a really good rodeo, and we expect even more contestants this year," he said during a visit to Statesboro earlier this month. Local competitors join professional cowgirls and cowboys from all over the world, he said.
    This year, Jason Farley of Evening Shade, Ark., is the featured clown, whose act highlights the comedian’s talented barrel work. With him will be the "Farlettes," life-size puppets who provide "fast-paced family entertainment," Hedrick said.
    Eighteen-year-old Kelsey Hawkins has been training with the Hedrick family for some time, he said, and will join Hedrick’s children Emily, 12, and Justin, 14, in the trick-riding performance.
    Rodeo tickets can be purchased in advance for $13 for adults and $8 for youth at Anderson’s General Store or at the gate for $15 for adults and $10 for youth.
    For additional information about the Bulls, Broncs and BBQ competition, visit www.bullsbroncsandbbq.com. Complete details about the Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo can be found at www.statesbororodeo.com.

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