UNION — For the first time in years, a rodeo is set for this weekend at the Union County Fairgrounds.
The “Union County Stampede” — an NCA-sanctioned Pro Rodeo — will take place at 8 p.m. this Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31, at the Union County Fairgrounds. Gates will open at 6 p.m.
Each night, there will be around 22 bucking bulls, 10 barrel races and seven saddle bronc riders for a local audience to enjoy. Organizer Chris Smith, of The Old Frontier Inc., said spectators of all ages will get the complete rodeo experience with announcers, clowns, vendors with Western hats and shirts, pony rides and a mechanical bull.
The contestants in this professional rodeo will come from South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee, and they will compete for prize money as well as a spot in the finals later this year.
The event is provided by Ernie Treadway Rodeo Company, Theron McCall Bucking Bulls and The Old Frontier.
The Old Frontier is a youth camp in Thomson, Ga. which uses the cowboy culture to teach people that life is about a relationship with Jesus Christ.
A portion of the proceeds from this weekend’s event will go toward activities at The Old Frontier and a pilot program in middle schools and high schools for at-risk teens.
Smith — who has been involved in youth ministry for 10 years — said the rodeo and cowboy culture is a good platform because it portrays the morals and hard work that need to be passed on to today’s generation. He said the camp uses the Old Testament and New Testament as a foundation for faith and inspiration for daily life.
“We are non-denominational, and we are not religious,” Smith said. “We just go by what The Bible says and use it to teach people about the situation they are in. We meet people the way they are.”
Smith said those who participate in activities through The Old Frontier learn lessons which are helpful throughout their lives.
“We encourage education and becoming a good citizen in this great country we live in,” he said.
Smith said he hopes the rodeo can be an annual event, and he wants to continue making connections in the community. For more information about The Old Frontier, visit www.theoldfrontier.com.