BY A.J. DUGGER III
Williamson County is bracing for its 68th annual rodeo on May 18-20 at the Williamson County Ag Expo Park, the longest-running event in the county.
“Expect some great rodeo action. There are seven standard events. It’s the same events every night, but different cowboys and cowgirls,” said Ruth Nicolaus, publicist for the Franklin Rodeo. “There’s different action happening and it’s pretty fast paced so there’s always something new to see whether you’re three or 93. It also involves animals and I think that always makes it fun. ”
More than 400 cowboys from across the country will be participating, including several reigning and former champions competing for cash prizes.
“It gets pretty serious,” she said. “Last year we paid out over $60,000 to the winning cowboys and cowgirls.”
This past Saturday, the Franklin Rodeo Parade in Downtown Franklin kicked off the festivities.
On May 17 the “Franklin Experience” will take place. “It’s a down-in-the-dirt part kick-off party,” said Nicolaus. “It’s free from 6-9 pm. You can get down in the arena with your family and see the bulls up close and meet the cowboys, bull fighters and rodeo clowns.”
The purpose of the rodeo is two fold: entertainment and charitable.“We give back to the community. This event is put on by the Franklin Noon Rotary Club. The money from this goes to local charities. Over $2 million has been given away over during the last 67 years since we started,” said Nicolaus.
Some of the charities involved include Habitat for Humanity, 4-H, Boys and Girls Club and Tucker’s house. “People come to be entertained, but we’re making the world and our backyard a better place.
“Every night of rodeo we do a food drive and cash donation drive for One Gen Away. They give food to the hungry people of Williamson County.”
According to Nicolaus, every night of the rodeo, there will be a food drive and cash donation drive for One Gen Away.
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night the gates will open at 5:30 pm, along with the concessions and the Rodeo Cafe. The rodeo will begin at 7 p.m.
Visit Franklinrodeo.com for tickets and more information.