HUNTINGDON - It's riding and roping time again with the 10th annual Central PA Rodeo held at the Huntingdon County Fairgrounds beginning next week.
The three-day long event sanctioned by the American Professional Rodeo Association and the International Professional Rodeo Association includes championship competitions, musical entertainment, food and activities for children.
About 100 children attend St. Matthew Catholic School, Tyrone, and the rodeo is the largest fundraiser annually, said Todd Lewis, rodeo committee member, whose children attend the school.
Dusti Crain performs a specialty act, Roman trick riding, during a previous rodeo. She will not be at the event this year. Below are a contestant bull riding and another contestant warming up for the show.
The event is popular and "we've been blessed," Lewis said. "The event itself has grown really every year. We've seen an increasing number of participants and also had a consistent number of business and sponsors that have supported us."
Jean Lehner, who also helps with the rodeo, said Saturday evening tends to draw the biggest crowd.
The rodeo is "family friendly," she said. "It's a good opportunity for families to bring their kids and enjoy it. It's a nice time."
If you go
What: 10th annual Central PA Rodeo
When: 7:30 p.m. June 13 and 14 and 4 p.m. June 15. Gates open three hours in advance.
Where: Huntingdon County Fairgrounds
Tickets: $12, adults; $5, children ages 4 to 12; free, children 3 and under. Advance ticket prices are available until midnight June 12. Tickets purchased the day of the show are $17 and $7. Veterans and active members of the military are admitted free of charge Sunday. Tickets are available through the website http://www.centralparodeo.com/ and at Ace Hardware stores in Tyrone, Huntingdon and Duncansville; all locations of Reliance Bank, and 7 Points Bait and Grocery, Hesston.
Competitors from the United States and Canada will compete for championship titles in bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding, a press release said.
Entertainers Lindy Nealey, a trick rider since age 10, and fifth-generation cowboy from Charlotte, N.C., Austin Stewart, also known as "Charlotte Flames," will perform at the rodeo, which The Rawhide Rodeo Company of Leicester, N.Y., is producing.
Nealey plans to do a roman riding act, which is when she performs different maneuvers standing atop her two horses, and a trick riding act, which she will perform with fellow trick rider, Haley Ganzel, she said in an email.
The two are known as The Cowgirl Sweethearts and have traveled nationwide together. Their "fast-paced trick riding" was featured in the films, "Cowgirls and Angels," and "Cowgirls and Angels 2: Dakota's Summer," she said.
"The best part about performing is the crowd reaction, and we live for being able to thrill and entertain audiences all over the country," Nealey said when asked what she likes about entertaining at rodeos.
They will perform at the Central PA Rodeo for the first time this year.
"We look forward to bringing new acts to the show, and working with such a great crew," Nealey said.
The rodeo is "really a very unique family event," Lewis said. "It's certainly a beautiful setting at the Huntingdon fairgrounds. It's a rather unique entertainment. It's live action. You're right there, the sounds, the smells, the sights in the arena. It's sponsored by our church and our local Catholic school and so it's just kind of a large extended family outing for a lot of people. There's food and entertainment. It's just a real nice event and it's exciting."
For more information, visit www.centralparodeo.com/.
Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.