Rodeo brings crowd

Lauren Sanchez

Sounds of thunder rattled through the Agriculture Exposition Center Friday night, as about 2,500 people watched thunderbolts escort cowboys and cowgirls into the arena.

The Lone Star Rodeo’s 2004 Thunderstruck Tour made a stop in Bowling Green this weekend, performing for a sold-out arena Friday and Saturday night.

Fans watched in awe as participants competed in bull riding, calf roping and steer wrestling events. Warren County school psychologist Andrea Kirby was surprised by all of the show’s events.

“This is our first rodeo,” said Kirby as she and her family watched the show. “We came because our little boy loves the bull riding.”

Overton High School senior Connie Peach was there for another reason.

“The cowboys,” she said with a grin.

Peach has been to several rodeos over the years, so many that she said she can’t count them anymore. She likes to make it a hobby that she and her friends can enjoy together.

Between events, rodeo clowns provided entertainment. In one of his acts, rodeo clown “Texas” Bill Thorpe made a horse smile, play dead and wave to the women in the audience. Other clowns rode go-carts, threw prizes to the crowd and told jokes.

For some people, the show was not just a form of entertainment. Farm owner Mike Ery has been to countless rodeos in his lifetime.

“It’s been a way of life for me for a long time,” Ery said.

Ery, a Springfield, Tenn., resident, began traveling to rodeos across the country years ago, making Bowling Green one of his frequent stops.

Ery has not only been a fan for many years, but he’s also been a participant. He’s been involved with different events for almost 30 years since starting in high school.

Ery likes coming to Lone Star’s rodeos because of owner Preston Fowlkes’s style of preparation. He said that most rodeo owners don’t have pre-show events for children, and he appreciates Fowlkes’s efforts to make the rodeo a family event.

The show ended with the bull riding competition, which was followed by cheers and applause from the audience.

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