CHIPLEY - Boots. Cowboy hats. Country music. The First Annual Washington County Sheriff's Office Rodeo is sure to become a classic.
Gates open at 5 p.m. at the Washington County Equestrian Center, 2574 Daniel Lakes Road. Mutton Bustin' begins at 6 p.m. and the show at 7:30 p.m. The event will feature eight Professional Cowboy Association sanctioned events: bull riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, breakaway roping, calf roping, team roping, and steer wrestling.
"We knew that we have a beautiful county Equestrian Center arena and with the support of our county commissioners, the love of the people of our county - and rodeo - the WCSO rodeo was born," said WCSO Public Information Officer Kristin Martin. "The staff - or, as we call everyone, "the WCSO crew" - is thrilled."
"We have been nonstop for weeks and everyone is onboard," she added.
In addition to the sanctioned events, the rodeo will feature bounce houses, free mechanical bull rides, mutton bustin', face painting, and pony stick races. Children five years and under are free.
Proceeds from the event will go to fund the sheriff's office's regular events, including the annual Christmas toy drive, free summer camp, and movie nights. As the events become increasingly popular, more funding is needed.
And the rodeo is certainly catching on. According to Martin, there are a couple hundred contestants have been registered.
"This rodeo is in appreciation and support of our community," Sheriff Crews said. "We love this place we call home and the people we serve and believe they deserve to have something of their own. We intend to grow this event every year and use the proceeds to benefit our local families and youth. We hope you are there with us, [tonight], making memories you will cherish for years to come."
For more information about the rodeo, follow Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews on Facebook.