Rodeo fans will get a chance to see the next generation of talented riders during the 2019 Lyon County Showdown this weekend at the Lyon County Fairgrounds.

More than 200 junior high- and high school-aged contestants from all four corners of the state are scheduled to participate in a wide variety of competitions throughout Saturday and Sunday. Gates to the main arena open at 11 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. A fee of $10 will grant visitors an all-access pass to the weekend’s events if they buy during the first day, otherwise, single-day tickets can be purchased for $7 each.

“There will be barrel racing, calf roping, ribbon roping, breakaway roping, bareback riding, chute dogging, pole bending, goat tying, bull riding and saddle bronc,” Lyon County Fair Board Chairman Ken Duft said. “It’s a full rodeo.

“If you want to see some of the younger kids in action, you should come out. It’s a great show that they put on, and they do a great job of competing throughout the year. These are up-and-comers, and some of them will go on to be professionals.”

Organizers expect the weekend to bring numerous travelers from around Kansas and the Midwest region, so locals are encouraged to attend to provide a warm welcome and maybe meet some new friends while they’re at it.

“These competitors and their families bring a lot to the community,” Duft said. “Everyone that comes to the rodeo buys things in town like fuel and groceries, they go out to eat at our restaurants and stay at our hotels. It’s really a benefit for the area to have this rodeo here. It doesn’t just give them a place to come to, it gets people to provide for our community. That’s why we’re so big on trying to get it every year and why we want to give everyone a good welcome.”

Besides enjoying hours of entertainment and a selection of fair food, attendees will also be able to donate to a good cause. Local Lyon County FFA chapters are partnering with members of KVOE Radio to host a canned food drive throughout the weekend. Donations, which can include anything from non-perishable food to toiletries and other daily hygiene items, will be given to area families through assistance from the Salvation Army.

“Even if people don’t attend the rodeo, they’re welcome to bring out canned food to drop off,” Duft said.

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