Rodeo stampedes into Abilene
An annual tradition storms into Abilene in early August.
The 67th annual Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo plays at the fairgrounds Aug. 1 to 4, with horses, bulls, steers, hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls, and thousands of fans.
Rodeo appeals to a variety of people, and with its different events, there's something for everyone. From the wild bareback riding to the fast cowgirls in the barrel race and the dangerous bull riding, rodeo's fast pace satisfies fans.
For rodeo fans and Abilene residents Don and Betty Nebelsick, the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo is something they've been involved in for at least twenty years. "When (the rodeo committee) started looking for sponsors, we were one of the originals," said Nebelsick, who owns Don's Tire and Supply on 714 South Buckeye Ave. For them, the rodeo also honors the town's western heritage. "It was a way of life that the younger generation doesn't think about as much as the older people do." And the rodeo brings business to town, too. "The rodeo and fair being together brings a lot of people and dollars into the community of Abilene."
Bulls, broncs and barrel racing kick off the first night of rodeo on Aug. 1, with the rodeo parade at 4 p.m., on Aug. 2. Tough Enough to Wear Pink night is Aug. 3, and the final night of rodeo wraps up on Aug. 4.
Nebelsick, who has missed very few rodeos, loves the people involved with the rodeo. "It's a social occasion."
Tickets are on sale for the rodeo at area retailers and online at www.ckff.net. Abilene ticket locations include ALCO, the Central Kansas Free Fair Office, Abilene Convention & Visitor's Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, Astra Bank, First Bank of Kansas, Great Plains Federal Credit Union, Pinnacle Bank, Pioneer Farm & Ranch, Rittel's Western Wear, Solomon State Bank, Sweet Daddy's, UMB Bank of America, and West's Plaza Country Mart.
Tickets went on sale July 5 for the rodeo at area retailers and online at www.ckff.net. Advanced adult tickets are $10 and at the gate are $12. Kids ages 6 to 12 are $6, and under the age of five are free. For more information on the rodeo, visit the website at WildBillHickokRodeo.com or call the fair office at 785-263-4570.
BULL RIDING--The longest 8 seconds in professional sports, bull riding, wraps up each night of entertainment at the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo in Abilene Aug. 1 to 4. (Photo by Fly Thomas.)