Guest post by Josh Curcio of protocol 80, Inc.
It’s that time of year again…time for the Gerry Rodeo! This is the 67th year for the rodeo in Gerry, NY which is located right in Chautauqua County. Donny Kemick and I had a chance to visit the rodeo on opening day prior to the event and speak with some of the stars of the show. In talking to the participants you really get a feeling of the history and tradition that the Gerry Rodeo represents. The rodeo benefits the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department and everyone we spoke to is extremely grateful for everything the fire department does and is happy that they are able to give back to them through the rodeo!
We spoke with the stock contractor of the Rodeo, Marty Barnes. A rodeo stock contractor supplies the bulls and other stock. They put many miles on the road each year travelling with their livestock, but always enjoy coming back to Gerry. Marty has been coming to the Gerry Rodeo for over 20 years and him and his family have been involved in the industry for over 60!
The bull fighters, Lucas Littles and Lucas Moore, explained to us what bull fighters actually do. It turns out they don’t use a red cape as I had expected. Their primary job is to save the cowboys from the bulls! They explained that although rainy weather can make bull fighting more dangerous, the playing field is still somewhat even because it makes it harder for the bull to charge as well. They had some very interesting stories, were very friendly and are good at what they do!
Johnny Dudley, the rodeo clown, was also happy to speak with us about his job. He has been rodeo clowning professionally for 11 years and started when he was in the Marines. The rodeo clown/barrel man provides a little island or safe haven for the cowboys during the bull riding events. He also provides entertainment and comedy for the attendees.
Last, but certainly not least, we spoke with Bruce who is in charge of the barbecue. Bruce works extremely hard preparing the food for this event every year. The proceeds from the barbecue benefit the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department, so he is happy to help. By the end of the 4 days, Bruce expects they will go through more than 5000 pieces of meat.
We hope you can attend the rodeo! Friday and Saturday’s shows are at 8:00 p.m. and there is a Sunday matinee at 2:00 p.m. You can find the rodeo schedule and ticket costs at www.GerryRodeo.org.