Pitt County Rodeo first in 15 years - WNCN: News, Weather

Pitt County Rodeo first in 15 years

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Steer wrestling, barrel racing and, yes, bull riding is coming to eastern North Carolina Friday!

Riders are coming from as far as Pennsylvania to compete in tonight's competition at the Pitt County Fairgrounds.

"Just enjoy the ride and see if they can do it," said Aaron Brown, bull rider and rodeo organizer.

For Brown, enjoying the ride has been a lifelong passion since going to the rodeo as a child. Now, he is bringing that passion to Pitt County with his rodeo officially sanctioned by the Southern Rodeo Association, not seen in Pitt County in 15 years.

"We've been working on this for over a year. Planning it and getting everyone lined up," said Brown.

We caught up with Brown as he prepared for Friday's opening night. Events include bareback bronco riding, saddle bronco riding, calf roping, cowgirls break-away roping, steer wrestling, team roping, cowgirls barrel racing and wild bull riding.

There's an event for everyone but one particular event hits home: Brown's daughter carrying the American flag.

"Such a tradition of the American sport. It's just what I work all these hard days for," said Brown.

Barrel Man Jake Willcox still has hard days ahead of him. Participants will recognize him as the clown providing entertainment during the rodeo.

"There's been a few close calls every once in awhile in which you'll get hit in the barrel and it'll go rolling out across there and you can imagine riding in a washing machine. That's about what it's like," said Willcox. "People got plenty of stuff to be down about and you can go to a movie and have good entertainment but when you come to the rodeo we want everybody to have a good time, feel welcome and part of the family."

Brown says there's one specific thing he wants visitors to walk away with:

"Well a lot of good family values and sees that family…how important it is to use and that we want to share that," said Brown.

Tickets are $10 at Phelps Chevrolet in Greenville or $12 at the gate.

Gates open at 6pm Friday & Saturday.  The rodeo begins at 8pm both nights.

No alcohol allowed.

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