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Civitan Rodeo returns

Summer brings lots of wholesome, outdoor activities to the South, many of them revolving around horses. At the Covington Arena, the summer rodeo fun is getting a grand kick-off with the 16th Annual Civitan Rodeo April 25 and 26 at the Covington Arena.

Produced by the Professional Cowboy Association, Bo Campbell Productions, the two-day event will feature world champions as well as other competitors from Alabama, Florida, Georgia., Louisiana, Okalahoma, Texas and Mississippi. Local rodeo riders will also be involved.

This is the second year the Civitan Rodeo has been held in the Arena, which is all to the good, according to Wendy Butler, this year's Civitan president.

"Last year was our largest to date," she said, referring to the amount of money raised in what is the club's largest fundraiser of the year. The money goes to many programs, all of them beneficial for the community.

"We support the Civitan International Research Center," said Butler, who added that much of the money also goes to local programs. "Like the Montezuma Project, Civitan LBW scholarships, supplies for special needs students, and Freedom Forum, to name a few."

Besides the usual rodeo fare of saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, barrel racing, girls breakaway roping, team roping and bull riding, the audience will be treated to Wild Bill Thorpe and his Frisbee-playing horse "Kokomo."

Other animal acts include the dog acts with Red the Wonder Dog, Texas Bill, Erskine and Cowgirl, as well as Amarillo Red, a Texas Longhorn. The dogs, terriers, work together in the NASDOG Barrel Race.

Along with the beasts - there will be beauty, of course. The event will also feature the Miss Covington County Rodeo Queen Contest. Contestants will be introduced at intermission both nights of the rodeo and the winners of each division will be crowned on Saturday, April 26, during the intermission.

The Andalusia Civitan Club in conjunction with Massey Automotive will be giving away one bicycle each night to the winners of a coloring contest for children kindergarten through fifth grade. The coloring sheet will need to be turned in at the door for one child's free admission.

The gates open at 6 p.m. Friday night, but events officially begin at 7 p.m. with the dedication of the new American Flag, donated by the Civitan Club, along with a special flag presentation demonstration.

The rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m. both nights.

Tickets can be purchased from all Andalusia Civitan members and at area banks. Tickets for adults will be $9 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets for students and senior citizens are $6 in advance and and $7 at the door. Reserve seating is $14 per seat and can be purchased at the Days Inn in Andalusia. Days Inn will also have general admission tickets available.

The Andalusia Civitan Club was chartered in 1955 and has since contributed much to the community, especially in the areas of helping those with mental and physical handicaps.