Annual rodeo draws a crowd


By Matt Harrelson - mharrelson@civitasmedia.com



Confederate flags were abundant and on sale as vendors shared a message of Southern pride and tolerance Friday night at Circle G Arena in Lilesville.


Cowboy Bradley Howard, 17, tries his hand at the mechanical bull before riding the real thing later on in the night.


Two-year-old John Neal Conklin of Wadesboro looks at the calves Friday night before the rodeo begins while his dad, Neal, holds him on the railing.


A vendor helps a future cowgirl with finding the perfect bright pink hat Friday night at Circle G Arena in Lilesville.


Professional cowgirl Nancy Garrison is all smiles before she rides later on in the night at Circle G Arena.


Flags representing North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, the Confederacy and the United States of America are brought out on horseback and paraded around the Circle G Arena Friday night.


Professional cowboy Harold Miller gets bucked around Friday night at the Circle G Arena, but not before he stayed on his horse for 7.8 seconds.


Matthew Woody, 26, of Lincolnton, rides his horse, Skip, an American quarter horse, during the calf-roping portion of the festivities Friday night at Circle G Arena.


Rodeo clown Bud Graves smiles for the camera as he sits on the gate during intermission of Friday night’s rodeo at Circle G Arena in Lilesville. Graves has been a rodeo clown for 35 years.


By Matt Harrelson

mharrelson@civitasmedia.com

Confederate flags were abundant and on sale as vendors shared a message of Southern pride and tolerance Friday night at Circle G Arena in Lilesville.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_05631.jpgConfederate flags were abundant and on sale as vendors shared a message of Southern pride and tolerance Friday night at Circle G Arena in Lilesville.

Cowboy Bradley Howard, 17, tries his hand at the mechanical bull before riding the real thing later on in the night.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_05691.jpgCowboy Bradley Howard, 17, tries his hand at the mechanical bull before riding the real thing later on in the night.

Two-year-old John Neal Conklin of Wadesboro looks at the calves Friday night before the rodeo begins while his dad, Neal, holds him on the railing.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_05821.jpgTwo-year-old John Neal Conklin of Wadesboro looks at the calves Friday night before the rodeo begins while his dad, Neal, holds him on the railing.

A vendor helps a future cowgirl with finding the perfect bright pink hat Friday night at Circle G Arena in Lilesville.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_06101.jpgA vendor helps a future cowgirl with finding the perfect bright pink hat Friday night at Circle G Arena in Lilesville.

Professional cowgirl Nancy Garrison is all smiles before she rides later on in the night at Circle G Arena.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_06331.jpgProfessional cowgirl Nancy Garrison is all smiles before she rides later on in the night at Circle G Arena.

Flags representing North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, the Confederacy and the United States of America are brought out on horseback and paraded around the Circle G Arena Friday night.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_06731.jpgFlags representing North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, the Confederacy and the United States of America are brought out on horseback and paraded around the Circle G Arena Friday night.

Professional cowboy Harold Miller gets bucked around Friday night at the Circle G Arena, but not before he stayed on his horse for 7.8 seconds.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_07061.jpgProfessional cowboy Harold Miller gets bucked around Friday night at the Circle G Arena, but not before he stayed on his horse for 7.8 seconds.

Matthew Woody, 26, of Lincolnton, rides his horse, Skip, an American quarter horse, during the calf-roping portion of the festivities Friday night at Circle G Arena.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_07921.jpgMatthew Woody, 26, of Lincolnton, rides his horse, Skip, an American quarter horse, during the calf-roping portion of the festivities Friday night at Circle G Arena.

Rodeo clown Bud Graves smiles for the camera as he sits on the gate during intermission of Friday night’s rodeo at Circle G Arena in Lilesville. Graves has been a rodeo clown for 35 years.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_08071.jpgRodeo clown Bud Graves smiles for the camera as he sits on the gate during intermission of Friday night’s rodeo at Circle G Arena in Lilesville. Graves has been a rodeo clown for 35 years.

LILESVILLE — Cowboy hats and boots abounded as Circle G Arena filled up with hundreds of fans Friday night for the 23rd annual Lilesville Rodeo.

Bluegrass and country music blared over the sound system while people from Anson, Richmond and surrounding counties filed in and enjoyed events before the rodeo such as a mechanical bull, a bounce house, different types of carnival-style food and merchandise to buy.

Travis Goodwin, co-owner of Circle G Arena, said the night would include seven events starting with bareback riding, calf roping, barrel racing, team roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling and bull riding.

Local residents from Richmond County like Ricky Shelley and his wife Catherine, along with their children Ella, age 3, and Rhett, age 1, made the trek to Anson County Friday night and said it’s something they try to do every year.

“We come because it’s fun, and we like the horses and funnel cake and ice cold lemonade,” said Catherine Shelley, to which Rhett Shelley replied, “Yeehaw.”

— Matt Harrelson

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