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30th Crenshaw County Rodeo set for this weekend

By: Shayla Terry

The dates have been set, and cowboys called; Crenshaw County’s 30th annual rodeo kicks off this Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6.

For 25 years the Luverne Kiwanis Club and Saddle Club put on the event, but five years ago the Crenshaw County Volunteer Firefighter Association picked up the event. The association is made up of the 12 volunteer departments of Crenshaw County.

“We were looking for a big project,” said rodeo coordinator Stae Sanders. “We saw this one, and dived right in.”

The volunteer association funds the upkeep of the four air compressors in the county with the proceeds from the rodeo.

Over its Friday and Saturday night stay, the rodeo will host eight events. There will be team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding to name a few.

“This year we will have some bouncy houses, and a whole new show,” Sanders said. “This is a big year with it being the 30th, and we want to try to honor the firemen.”

The nights’ events will also feature Rudy Burns, a clown. “He’s a really funny guy,” Sanders said. “We worked hard to get him, and we wanted someone that could really entertain our crowd. He has been a part of rodeos in Las Vegas more than 10 times.”

The rodeo will also have numerous children’s activities, with the grand prize being a bicycle.

Sanders says with all the activities that are planned for the two nights, putting together the event took a lot of work.

“There is no way to describe how thankful we are for our sponsors and donations,” he said. “We couldn’t exist if they didn’t help out. Because of them, we have almost paid for the rodeo before it even starts. It takes us about two months of steady hard work.”

All of the 12 fire departments participate with the rodeo.

“It takes everybody,” Sanders said. “Some people park cars, some cook, but we are all together making this work.”

The rodeo will be held at the Tom Harbin Center on Airport Road in Luverne. Tickets are $5 for children 12 and under, and $10 for adults. If a child purchases a t-shirt, they will receive free admission. T-shirts and advanced tickets for a discounted rate can be purchased at the First Citizens Banks in Luverne and Highland Home. Gates open at 5:30 pm., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s going to be good food, and tons of entertainment,” Sanders said. “We are lucky in this county because our county supports our fire departments in a tremendous way. This is a weekend for us to say thank you back to the county.”