Rodeo will be moved to March 2013

Published 9:36 am Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Organizers of the annual Port City Rodeo say the popular event will not be held in September of this year. However, there are still plans to hold it in the spring of 2013, likely toward the end of March.

Ronnie Burke, executive director of Decatur County Family Connection, which has organized the rodeo since 2009, said that organizers wanted to try a different month this year.

“The turnout was good [in September 2011], but it wasn’t as high as it could have been,” he said. “We thought that maybe that had something to do with the heat, and high-school and college football. We thought we might try it in the spring, this next time.”

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Burke said that no official date has been set, but organizers hope to stage the rodeo around the end of March 2013, “hopefully before spring break.” He said organizers hope the event — which would be the fourth annual Port City Rodeo — can again be held at the Commodore Decatur Industrial Park, off Dothan Road.

“We haven’t talked with city or county officials just yet, but we’re hoping to have it there again,” he said. “It went really smoothly last time and we had tremendous support from the city and county.”

The rodeo’s proceeds benefit Family Connection, a local service collaborative that provides several programs for family and children.

Some programs that Family Connection has provided in the past include: distributing backpacks full of non-perishable staple foods to hungry children each week, the ESCAPE early-intervention program for elementary school students that have behavior issues in school, joining with the Kiwanis Club to distribute dictionaries to third-grade students, and a life-size “teen maze” that shows young people the consequences of good and bad lifestyle choices.

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