Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 1, 2013

Thunder time with big rodeo event

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Pauls Valley’s version of the thunder comes in the form of the wild action of an annual rodeo event returning this weekend.

The event is the 11th annual Thunder in the Valley set for Saturday evening, May 4 at the rodeo arena in Wacker Park.

Again it features the fast action of bull riding and a whole line up of kids strapping in for an always entertaining mutton bustin’ ride.

For the sponsoring Pauls Valley Rotary Club this event is the perfect compliment to all the activities earlier in the day led by the local BrickFest celebration in downtown PV.

“This will be the cap stone for BrickFest again,” said Rotary member Allie Burgin.

Events like BrickFest and the Valley Rally bike tour earlier in the day will be followed by the action of bull riding that evening.

As Burgin points out it again features riders from all taking on some of the “meanest” bulls, which means spectators get to hold on for some fun stuff to watch.

Of course there’s also mutton bustin’ as kids age 3 to 7 weighing 55 pounds or less looking for a wild ride on the backs of sheep can start signing up at 3 p.m.

The riding then hits the dirt of the PV Rodeo Arena starting at 5 p.m.

From all the riders taking part the top 10 mutton busters will then come back for a “ride off” about halfway the bull riding that evening. This part of the show will determine the top winner of the event.

This event is so popular it may even be the biggest draw of all for many, Burgin said.

“The mutton bustin’ is getting to be a bigger thing to see for a lot of people than the bull riding,” he said.

“It’s really a lot of fun to watch.”

The action of the bull riding is scheduled to get going around 7 p.m.

Mixed in there will be trick riders and Miss Rodeo U.S.A. taking part in the crowning of the Little Miss Rodeo princess.

Along with the fun of the rodeo, Burgin and Rotary Club President Martha Jo McElroy say one of the best things about the event is the proceeds go to help a whole variety of local efforts.

“All we make from this goes into local projects like backpacks for kids, the hospital, just about every local charity in Pauls Valley,” Burgin said.

“The money goes right back into local things.”

McElroy says this event is the largest fundraiser of the year for the local civic club with proceeds going to scholarships, sending people to leadership camps and keeping the Rotary Rose Garden looking really good in the same city park where the rodeo takes place.

“The most important thing is the money we raise from this stays local,” she said.