BONIFAY — Crowds of both young and old start the day off at 1 p.m. with the Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo Parade where clubs and organizations bring out their best floats, bands, wagons, motorcycles, ATV’s, go carts and displays from all around to amaze spectators from all around and is followed by hundreds of horses of all size, shape and color around.


BONIFAY — It’s that time again — the time of year that brings anywhere between 17,000 to 50,000 people to Bonifay.



It’s time for Northwest Florida’s largest rodeo and event, the 69th annual Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo.



“We’ve got a variety of shows lined up that is going to be good,” said Rodeo Chairman Charlie Lawry. “We’ve got our new Stock Contractor, 4L & Diamond S Rodeo Co. and number of special guests including Announcer Jerry Todd, Clown and Barrelman Lecile Harris, Bull Fighters Matt Baldwin and Buddy Bush and Specialty Acts Gena Cox, Melody McCray and Jessica Blair. We’ve also got Kevin Matais on the scoreboard and Mark Evans on sound.”



Lawry confirmed that the Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo held in Bonifay every October was the largest rodeo in this part of the country.



“Most rodeos in this area go for two days tops but to go for three days straight is rare for this area,” he said. “This rodeo is also nationally known for its grass and Grand Entry. The only other grass arena is in Oregon.”



Grass had its advantages and disadvantages, explained Lawry.



“A lot of riders and participants don’t like grass because there’s not as much grip as dirt, that’s why barrel racing isn’t done as much as it use to at the rodeo,” he said. “Personally I like it because I find it more of a challenge and I like a good challenge.”



He gave an update on the rodeo circuit, saying the rules had changed as far as how many rodeos count towards the national competition.



“It use to be that you could go to as many rodeos you wanted to and it would count towards the nationals,” said Lawry. “Now they’ve limited it to 85 rodeos so the participants have been a little more selective of where they ride.”



The rodeo will start at 7:30 p.m. with gates opening at 5:30 Thursday through Saturday at Memorial Field.



Bonifay Kiwanis President-Elect Sandy Spear provided some of the latest news at the Bonifay Kiwanis Club’s Sept. 18 meeting.



“We are just so excited about what this year has to offer,” said Spear. “We now have tickets available online and we’ve just sold our first tickets online. We’re also offering for the first time ever VIP tickets.”



She said that with the VIP tickets the ticket holders get preferred parking behind the concession stands, a commemorative cushion with specialized seating at the bull gates, someone to run to and from the concession stands for food and beverages and a back arena pass allowing visitors to meet the riders and take pictures with barrel men, clowns, etc.



“We’re limiting it to 100 VIP tickets per night,” said Spear. “This really gives them a chance to feel like VIPs. This idea was brought to us by our new stock contractor.”



Another new aspect that had Spear saying she was excited was the largest raffle prize they’ve ever offered.



“We’re so excited,” said Spear. “We’ve decided to do a package with two tickets for the two night National Rodeo in Las Vegas, a room at the world famous Las Vegas Hotel The Flamingo, two pairs of Miss Me Jeans and a 50/50 raffle where the money raised will be halved with the winner to help with travel expenses to Las Vegas. Tickets are one for $5, three for $10 or 7 for $20 and signup will be held Thursday and Friday night and will be drawn Saturday; you don’t have to be present to win.”



For more information or online ticket purchases visit www.bonifaykiwanisrodeo.com. Tickets are also available at Community South Credit Union, Doc’s Market, First Federal Bank of Florida, Bowen Hardware, Piggly Wiggly and the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce.



“Remember, the more money we make at this rodeo the more money we’ll have for scholarships,” said Spear. “This is a non-profit event that is not only for our community but for our children’s bright, bright future.”



 



 



 RODEO AT A GLANCE



 



Kids’ Night



Rodeo kicks off Thursday night with Kids’ Night, where all children under the age of 10 get in free. During intermission there will be a verity of games and activities for the children to participate in including sack and stick horse races.



 



Friday, Oct. 4



 



Parade



Crowds by the thousands, both young and old start the day off with the Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo Parade where clubs and organizations bring out their best floats, bands, wagons, motorcycles, ATV’s, go carts and displays from all around to amaze spectators from all around and is followed by hundreds of horses of all size, shape and color around.



The parade starts at 1 p.m. on the North end of Waukesha Street in front of the Piggly Wiggly and makes their way South down Waukesha then turns right onto Veterans Boulevard and continues to Memorial Field.



For more information call 547-4572 or email: catrey@earthlink.net.



 



Military Appreciation Night



Many will be wearing their red, white and blue to show their appreciation to those who serve in the armed forces.



 



Saturday, Oct. 5



 



Bonifay Fire Department Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser



To start the day off right the Bonifay Fire Department will be holding their annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Bonifay Fire Department with plates of pancakes and sausage with the choice of milk, orange juice or coffee for $6 a plate.



 



Parade



The parade starts at 1 p.m. on the North end of Waukesha Street in front of the Piggly Wiggly and makes their way South down Waukesha then turns right onto Veterans Boulevard and continues to Memorial Field.



For more information call 547-4572 or email: catrey@earthlink.net.



 



Tough Enough to Wear Pink



The Bonifay Kiwanis Club is once again a participant in the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign in order to raise money aid in the fight against breast cancer, which means there will be thousands showing their support by wearing pink on Saturday night.



To add to the benefit, all proceeds from Saturday night’s rodeo will go to the Holmes County Breast Cancer Organization P.I.N.K. (Protection Is iN Knowledge).



This year the PINK Paper-Plane Pilot is back, where, for a $1 donation, you can design and pilot your own PINK Paper-Plane and if you can get it into a clown barrel on the back of a Ram Truck you’ll win a cash prize.