Considered the largest outdoor rodeo east of the Mississippi, the Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo takes place the third weekend in May each year. As cowboys and cowgirls compete for over $50,000 in prize money, families are entertained with all the makings of a family-friendly rodeo including professional clowns and specialty acts. And along with two days of rodeo competition, there are a handful of family-friendly events in the week leading up to the rodeo weekend.
The Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo gets underway both nights at 6 p.m. with pony rides for children and the Kids Gold Rush following at 7 p.m. Opening ceremonies are slated for 8 p.m. and competitive events lined up for both nights include bareback bronc riding, calf roping, break-away roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, kids calf scramble, cowgirl’s barrel racing, chuck wagon races, and bull riding. And, no rodeo would be complete without professional rodeo clowns, chuck wagon races, and other performers to entertain the crowd in between competitive events.
Five rodeo-themed activities are also slated for the week leading up to the event. A parade featuring Queen contestants and cowgirls and cowboys of all ages on horseback along with buggies and wagons. The route travels from the Arena to downtown Athens. Preston’s Western & Outdoor Wear, located at Highway 72 and I-65 in Athens, is hosting the Rodeo Kickoff offering free kid’s activities and horseback rides. Everyone is invited to the Street Dance at the Limestone County Courthouse Square. A western fashion show is also planned for the evening. A slack competition for team roping contestants is scheduled. Gates open at 8 a.m. and admission is $5 per person. A rodeo especially geared for individuals with special needs is scheduled at the Arena.
The Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo is produced by the Lone Star Rodeo Company and is held at the Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo Arena located on Alabama Highway 99 west of Athens. Proceeds benefit law enforcement in Limestone County.