Bulls, horses and other livestock will take over Homestead over the weekend as the southern most rodeo comes to town.
The 65th annual Homestead Championship Rodeo will be at the Doc DeMilly Rodeo Arena at Harris Field, 1034 NE Eighth Street on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Ryan Krantz, member of the Homestead Rodeo Association, says the event is one of the oldest annual sporting events in Florida and this year is expected to be more than just exciting.
“Every year the Homestead Rodeo Association strives to achieve excellence in producing the best all-around rodeo event for fans to enjoy,” he wrote in an email. “This year is no exception. We have raised the stakes for competitors, adding more prize money to each event than has ever been added before. This will attract and entice new competitors and top-notch champions to come from all over the country to compete.”
The Homestead Rodeo, a top-five rodeo in the southeastern circuit, fans will enjoy tons of competition such as bareback bronco riding, saddle bronco riding, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding.
“Rodeo events are a showcase of talent and ability which were first developed on working ranches back in the 1800's,” Krantz said. “Today's rodeo cowboys and cowgirls compete at over 500 events throughout the year from coast to coast.”
Contestants are trying to earn money to qualify to make the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas every year in December. It is essentially rodeo's World Series, in which PRCA World Champions for each event are crowned after 10 rounds of competition. There will be about 300 animals participating over the course of the weekend.
There will also be a parade Saturday morning beginning on Krome Avenue at Flagler Street and runs north on Krome through downtown Homestead.
At the rodeo, there will also be a petting zoo and even a mechanical bull. For fans who get hungry, there will be plenty of food such as hamburgers and hot dogs.
The rodeo is meaningful to Homestead, added Krantz.
“Homestead is a city that is rich in tradition, and while times are changing and the city has grown up fast, people still haven't forgot the roots that run so deep here,” he said. “Farming is still a major industry, horses and cattle still have their place here as well.”