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Third annual Port City Rodeo coming

The third annual Port City Rodeo, coming in September, looks to be the best one yet, one of its organizers told the Kiwanis Club last week.

The family entertainment event is changing venues and will feature a higher level of competition than ever before, said Ronnie Burke, executive director of the Decatur County Family Connection, the group which has organized the rodeo since 2009.

An estimated 4,100 people attended the two-day rodeo last year.

This year’s Port City Rodeo will be held Friday, Sept. 9, and Saturday, Sept. 10, in the Commodore Decatur Industrial Park off Dothan Road. For the first time, Port City Rodeo will partner with T Bar T rodeo company, which puts on rodeos nationwide.

“[T Bar T] will be marketing the rodeo through its website and in magazines,” Burke said. “Cowboys and cowgirls can earn points toward earning a trip to a rodeo in Las Vegas, so we expect a good number of participants.”

Events in this year’s rodeo will include bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, team roping, steer wrestling, girls’ break away roping, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding.

All of the rodeo’s proceeds will benefit Family Connection, a local service collaborative which provides several programs for family and children.

Family Connection’s programs include: distributing backpacks full of non-perishable staple foods to hungry children each week and the ESCAPE early-intervention program for elementary students having behavior issues in school. Family Connection also partners with the Kiwanis Club to distribute reference dictionaries to all third-grade students each fall. The service collaborative also helps sponsor the Chamber of Commerce’s Youth Leadership program.

Tickets and other info

The rodeo will begin at 7:30 p.m. both nights at the industrial park, located at the intersection of Dothan Road and Airport Road (the former Bikefest grounds).

Advance tickets can be purchased from several locations, including the Chamber of Commerce building in the Earle May Boat Basin, the Visitor’s Center off Dothan Road, either of First Port City Bank’s locations and Headquarters in the Scott Street shopping center.

Tickets purchased in advance are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 10 years old and under.

On the days of the events, tickets will cost $12 for adults and $7 for children ages 10 and under.

As always, the rodeo will be an alcohol-free, family-friendly event. Concessions will be on sale.

People interested in entering the rodeo as a competitor should call for information on Sept. 5, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The number to call is (912) 285-0133.

The website for the Port City Rodeo is www.portcityrodeo.com. Volunteers are needed to help set up and perform duties during the rodeo to make it a success; to volunteer, call Scott Ewing at First Port City Bank at (229) 246-6200.