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Rodeo brings family fun to county

By: Michael Ganzmam
Freelance Writer

This past weekend marked the 26th annual rodeo in Johnson County, the largest yearly event in the area. The rodeo was set up by the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, whose members worked hard to make the event fun and affordable.
“The Chamber does this to benefit the community,” said John Coolahan, president of the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce. “[To fund the rodeo], we only charge $10 to adults…and we pass the savings down to the community.”
Before the rodeo began, the Chamber went around local elementary schools to preview the rodeo and offer kids a chance to win free tickets. Each student was asked to color a rodeo-themed drawing; the completed page would then be used as the student’s ticket into the event.
The nationally renowned Spur’n S Rodeo Company did not disappoint, bringing over one thousand people to Chamber Park on both Friday and Saturday, the two nights the event was held.
“If there wasn’t a football game, we would’ve done even better,” Coolahan said.
With the seats packed, the rodeo began; starting with an introduction from acclaimed rodeo announcer Adam Gibbs, who thundered a powerful welcome to the citizens of Johnson County through his microphone.
“You’ve got great fans here,” Gibbs said. “We just came from Du Quoin, Illinois state fair…there’s no difference between here and some of the bigger rodeos in the Midwest.”
Gibbs led the crowd through the national anthem as well as a solemn prayer honoring war veterans and showing respect to people who fell during 9/11—a pivotal date that’s 14-year anniversary was on Friday.
After the pre-ceremonies, the rodeo kicked off with some bucking horseback riding, with cowboys being hurled off their steeds after a valiant effort to hang on as long as possible.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.