By CHRIS AGEE
Rip-roaring, hooves-pounding western action is in the offing this coming week as the 76th Annual Palo Pinto County Livestock Association Rodeo begins Wednesday at 5 p.m with free admission to slack.
Following a trail ride from Weatherford Thursday morning and a downtown parade at 5 p.m., the rodeo's opening night begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Mineral Wells rodeo grounds, 800 Farm-to-Market Road 1821 N.
According to rodeo chair Wendell Barker, this year's event will include two new features: a drawing for $760 Thursday night and a Saturday morning 5K Rodeo Fun Run and Walk. The drawing is sponsored by Ram Country Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, and Anytime Fitness will sponsor the 5K.
Advance tickets are available through the Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce, local banks, and the 2013 rodeo queen and princess contestants. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for youth. At the gate, tickets are $12 and $6, respectively. Armed forces personnel receive free admission when attending in uniform.
Nightly attractions include mutton bustin', an opening ride by Cowgirls of Hope and a trick riding act by Melissa Navarre and Company.
Friday night's rodeo begins at 7:30 and 10 percent of the night's ticket sales will go to the Palo Pinto General Hospital Cancer Fund. Attendees are encouraged to wear pink or purple in support of the initiative.
Arrive at Anytime Fitness at 8 a.m. Saturday to take part in the 5K, which starts at 8:30 a.m.
Saturday's rodeo also starts at 7:30 p.m. and will include crowing of the 2013 rodeo queen and princess.
Rodeo week concludes with a concert and dance featuring the Thieving Birds at the nearby Expo Center.
Dust off the boots, flex the hat brim and come on out!