Rodeo Expected to Attract Large Crowd

By: Vanessa Nguyen
By: Vanessa Nguyen

The 66th annual Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo is underway in Bonifay. The three-day community event attracts more than 25,000 people, eight times more than Bonifay's population. Organizers expect another great year.

This empty football field will soon be transformed into Bonifay's biggest annual event.

"Welcome to the rodeo!"

The 66th annual Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo is in full swing and organizers say it's come a long way.

"It started as a very small grass field event out here years and years ago,” said David Lauen, Bonifay Kiwanis Club President. “It's just a wonderful event for the family and those wanna-be cowboys."

The Bonifay Kiwanis Club has been the rodeo sponsor since day one. Lauen says all of the clubs campsites were booked back in February.

"We've had requests already from those that are camping this year (ask) can they go ahead and book their reservations for next year and we haven't even had the rodeo finished yet so we're excited about that," he said.

He's not the only one. From hay wagons to clothing stands, the rodeo features a little bit of everything for all ages.

"At the rodeo, I like when the clowns and the bulls come out,” said Jevin Johnson. “In the parade, I like when they throw the beads and the candy."

"I grew up here, going to the rodeo every year, marching in the parade with the band and now that I have kids of my own, we try to come back whenever we can and be a part of it," said Stephanie Ford.

And with the sunny weather conditions, Lauen and other community sponsors are thankful it's going to be another great year.
"Come on down to the rodeo!"

There will be another parade Saturday at 2:00.


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