The Paris Round-Up Club hosted their annual rodeo at the Paris Rodeo Arena this weekend in front of near capacity crowds each night. The event, sanctioned by ACRA and CRRA rodeo circuits drew cowboys and cowgirls from several states to compete for prize money in everything from barrel racing to bull riding. The stock, provided by G Money and LJ Bucking Bulls proved a tough task. The stock has been at many larger rodeos and will be on display across the country in what they call Cowboy Christmas, the time of year when rodeos run almost daily in the heart of the season.
With microphone in hand, experienced announcer Richard Conner called the events, drawing applause for every entry. What may have said the most about the community of Paris was on Friday night when the American Flag was presented and the anthem was heard. Parents, little athletes on the surrounding title league fields, and all within earshot of the rodeo stopped to honor and pay tribute to America.
Both the Ladies Break Away roping and the Bull riding proved a difficult task, as few could make the qualifying marks. Under the new nights installed by the City of Paris, the crowd still cheered, understanding the stock has a responsibility to put on a good show as well. Area riders participated in the grand entry, displaying their skill and their prized horses. The Old Fort Dandies led the ceremonies but also performed their famous square dance and wagon wheel during the festivities.
Mutton Bustin and the Calf Scramble provided plenty of cheers, while local bullfighter and Local County Deputy Zac Taylor gave the crowd plenty of laughs. Both nights, Taylor had kids rolling in the arena dirt in preparation for the calf scramble as parents moaned and laughed from outside the arena. For Taylor, the purpose is much bigger. He has a 22 painted on his face each night, representing the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day as a result of PTSD. He hopes to draw awareness to the needs of veterans through his efforts.
The Paris Round-Up Club gave the community a quality event for the whole family. Rodeo is a tough business, and they depend on the community sponsors and the gate attendance to continue their work. With times pushed back to avoid the extreme heat, Paris proved it rallies around events that promote community values and build a tradition for future generations.