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Sat, Oct. 31

Cowpunchers Reunion Rodeo takes place Friday-Sunday at Williams Rodeo Grounds

A cowboy rides a bronc during the 2013 Cowpunchers Reunion Rodeo at the Williams Rodeo Grounds. Ryan Williams/WGCN

A cowboy rides a bronc during the 2013 Cowpunchers Reunion Rodeo at the Williams Rodeo Grounds. Ryan Williams/WGCN

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The 36th annual Cowpunchers Reunion Rodeo returns to town this Friday through Sunday at the Williams Rodeo Grounds, 800 Rodeo Road.

Rodeo performances start at 1 p.m. each day and admission is $5. About 350-400 people are expected to compete in the rodeo events. While the majority of the competitors are from Arizona, some will also come from Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Carrie Gross, executive secretary of the Arizona Cowpunchers, said this rodeo isn't like other rodeos.

"You have to either own cattle or be from a working cattle ranch or a working cowboy to be a member of our association," she said. "Our rodeos are very different from any other rodeo you'll see."

Some of the highlights of the rodeo performances include wild horse racing, in which competitors saddle and ride a horse that has never been ridden before.

Another unique event is wild cow milking, in which one team member ropes the cow, another one holds the cow steady, and a third milks the cow.

The rodeo will also feature the popular bronc riding competition, in which the competitors will use cowboy saddles.

Rounding out the events are ribbon roping, team roping and steer riding.

On Thursday a jackpot team roping event will take place for members only. On Friday a gymkhana will take place for members with barrel and keyhole racing.

On Friday and Saturday a barn dance will take place from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. featuring the Briana Payne Band. Everyone is welcome to attend.

On Saturday night at 6:30 p.m., a Calcutta auction will take place in which people can bid on which teams will win the different roping competitions.

On Sunday at 9:30 a.m. a cowboy church service will take place in the grandstands. Everyone is welcome to attend.

On all three days vendors will be set up from about 10 a.m. until after the rodeo performances. Vendors will be selling food, jewelry, T-shirts and leather.

Gross encouraged the public to come out and attend the various rodeo events.

"We are a family oriented association," she said. "So we have from 3-year-old little girls all the way up to 91-year-old competitors in our association. So it is a very unique and different rodeo than you've ever been to."

More information is available from Gross at (602) 510-4940.

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