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2 nights of rodeo performances on tap for county fair.

August 29, 2014

A youngster takes a tumble during the mutton-bustin competition at the 2013 county fair. The event is slated again this year on Sept. 5 and 6, beginning at 7:20 p.m. at Thomas Arena at the fairgrounds.

The Saline County Fair is about to get under way and with the fair comes the annual rodeo performances.

The first activity for fair week on Tuesday will be the annual parade at 6 p.m. in Downtown Benton, but that's not all residents can enjoy during the annual event, said Mollie Wright, a member of the Fair Association Board of Directors.

This year two nights of rodeo shows are scheduled, Wright said.

"The Saline County Fair Association is excited to announce we will once again be hosting the annual rodeo produced by H & H Rodeo Company out of Vilonia," Wright said.

Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 5 and 6.

Wright noted that H & H Rodeo Co. were named the 2013 Rodeo Producer of the Year by the Arkansas Rodeo Association. 

Wright said the rodeo will feature traditional events like bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling, bull riding and breakaway roping. 

"Also, preceding the rodeo each night at 7:30, there will be a mutton bustin’ for the little cowboys and cowgirls to ride a sheep," Wright said.

She noted that this year's rodeo is sanctioned by the Arkansas Rodeo Association, the Louisiana Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Cowboys Regional Rodeo Association out of Oklahoma.

"We hope to attract entries from all throughout the region — both beginners and experienced riders," Wright said.

To enter the event, riders interested should call Rose Harris at 501-733-3449. 

"This year, we are privileged to have Lecile Harris, a professional rodeo comedian and clown, to keep the audience entertained and our cowboys on their toes," Wright said.

She noted that earlier in his career Harris was a bullfighter clown when his primary responsibility was to protect the cowboy. 

"His natural tendency for comedy began developing more and more, and he began to thrill the crowd," she said,

"Today his catalog of acts, skits and characters are legendary, some dating back more than 40 years, but are still timeless today,"she said.

She pointed out that rodeo isn't the only arena in which he has showcased his talents. "He once landed a regular role on the TV series 'Hee Haw' and that lasted five years.

"Today, Lecile is at the pinnacle of his career and comedy has become his trademark to such a degree that he was recognized as the best in the business by being named Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association Clown of the Year for four years," she said.

Wright pointed out that Harris' his bullfighting and comedic ability have "saved many a cowboy and brought smiles and laughter to literally millions of people."

 "The Saline County Fair Association is both excited and honored to have such an elite performer at this year’s rodeo," Wright said.

"The association members would like to encourage each of you to attend this annual event," she said. "The association has worked hard to keep the admission fees as low as possible. 

Admission to the rodeo is $10 per adult, $5 for youngsters 6-12 years old and free for those under 6. 

"Make plans to come and support your local cowboy or cowgirl," Wright said. "You won’t be disappointed and you will probably leave with a stitch in your side from the laughter from enjoying Lecile Harris’ acts and jokes."

 

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