Roping, steer wrestling, bareback bronc riding and bull riding are all coming to Heflin next week as part of the annual WM Grocery Rodeo.
In previous years the rodeo has been held in conjunction with the Cleburne County Fair but this year it's a stand-alone event, according to Tanya Maloney, Heflin’s economic developer.
Maloney hopes that by splitting the two events, families can more easily afford to attend both.
“It’s a lot of money for a family of four to spend in one day, go to the rodeo, do the carnival,” Maloney said.
The fair is held the second week of August at a time when family budgets are already stretched due to back-to-school costs according to Maloney.
“It’s also easier on our team, our volunteer team, there’s not as much at one time. It’s easier to manage,” Maloney said.
Southern Rodeo Company from Rockmart, Ga., will start setting up for the rodeo Sunday at the fairgrounds located at Interstate 20 exit 199 according to Robin Brooks, co-owner of the rodeo along with his son, Josh. They put on 10-12 rodeos each year.
“We’ve always rodeoed as a family and in 2007 we just decided that we needed to start our own rodeo company and start producing rodeos,” Brooks said.
Brooks said his company supplies everything including the horses, the bulls, a rodeo clown, the arena, the bleachers, the steers and all the personnel it takes to put on a rodeo, but not the riders themselves.
“The contestants that compete at the rodeo actually come from associations like the Southern Professional Rodeo Association and the International Pro Rodeo Association,” Brooks said.
Starting Monday morning rodeo contestants will sign up in what Brooks calls a “call in,” where they give their pertinent information over the phone as to their affiliation and which event they want to compete in.
According to Brooks, the rodeo will include:
— Cowgirl break-away roping
— Team roping
— Steer wrestling
— Cowgirl barrel racing
— Bull riding
— Saddle bronc riding
— Bareback bronc riding
Live music, a mechanical bull and various vendors will be on site offering food and of course cowboy hats, according to Brooks.