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Championship nights for rodeo

Despite a brief blip in the power Friday night, the Andalusia Civitan Club's 16th Annual Rodeo was a huge success by all accounts.

According to Robert Creamer, co-chair of the rodeo, the event was well-attended and well received.

"There were around 1,400 people Friday night and 1,800 Saturday night," Creamer said. "It went really well. We won't have final numbers for some time, but overall we are pleased with the attendance and participation."

Opening night of the rodeo proved to be exciting as the outdoor arena was named in honor of the late R.P. Shelley, a driving force of rodeos in Andalusia for several years, and a new flag dedication presented by the Civitan Club to the Covington Center Arena. In addition, Creamer said Ted Watson and Kay Ingram presented a rousing celebration of patriotic music. The only hitch to opening night was the freak thunderstorm that plunged the arena into darkness temporarily.

"The lights did go out for just a little while due to the storm," Creamer said, "but it was just briefly and they came back on and the rodeo continued. We are really thankful we were inside the arena - it would have been a mess had the rodeo been outside."

Among the many attractions at this year's rodeo, Creamer said a mechanical bull proved to be a crowd favorite.

"People were riding that bull when I got to the rodeo and when I left Friday and Saturday nights," he said. "It was very popular and the first time we have had anything like that."

Saturday was a big success with the concession stand selling out.

"We sold out (of concessions) Saturday, and there is always a lot of other things happening on a Saturday night, so we were very pleased," Creamer said.

Although final totals are still to be determined, Creamer said the quality of the rodeo was a success, with high caliber cowboys and cowgirls participating, top-notch entertainment and excited crowds.

"The rodeo just keeps getting better, and as far as we can tell it was a huge success," he said.