By CHERIL VERNON
From kids dressed up in their boots and cowboy hats for Boston’s Buckaroos Kids Rodeo to the 7th Annual Boston Porter Memorial Bull Riding event featuring the Don Gay Bull Riding Tour — there’s something for everyone this weekend at the Anderson County Youth Livestock Expo Center.
The Boston Porter Memorial Scholarship Bull Riding fundraiser was founded seven years ago after Porter died in a drowning accident at the age of 14 months.
“When we lost him... he already loved bull riding, and would have enjoyed the event,” said event organizer Kim Ray, Boston’s grandmother.
The tragic accident changed the life of Porter’s family, eventually leading them to reach out to area high school seniors by providing scholarships awarded at the Anderson County Youth Livestock Show.
“The whole purpose of the event is to give back in honor of Boston. We want to help local kids and over the years we have raised over $80,000 in scholarships to help further their education — that’s why we do it,” organizer Kim Ray said.
Kicking off the festivities will be Boston’s Buckaroos Kids Rodeo starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. Activities will include mutton bustin’, stick horse races, goat dressing, goat tying, goat scramble, dummy steer roping, calf roping and a chuck wagon race. A t-shirt and trophy will be given to every participant. Age groups include: 5 and under, 6 to 8 and 9 to 12.
“It’s a lot of fun things for the kids. They like to run around and play in the dirt,” Ray said. “The kids compete like little champions with their spurs, boots and hats — all ready to roll.”
Admission to the kid rodeo is $5.
“Even if you don’t have kids participating in it, it’s just fun to watch because they are all dressed up,” Ray said.
Other events today and Saturday include the Boston’s Buckin’ BBQ Cook-off. Judging will start at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The bull-riding event will be held at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday in the indoor arena under the pavilion.
“It’s a smaller arena but that way we won’t have to worry about the weather,” Ray said. “Everyone will have a good seat. It will be up close and personal with the bulls.”
Bull riders from all across the country will compete in the event as part of the Don Gay Bull Riding Tour. The UBBI Youth Futurity also will be held.
“We encourage everyone to bring their family, it’s very family-oriented,” Ray said.
A Bouncy Bull Riding Pen will be set up to provide a mechanical bull ride that is cushioned by large foam area to make it safe.
Tickets to the Boston Porter Memorial Bull Riding event are $12 in advance at Cavender’s Boot City and $15 at the gate.
All proceeds go to the Boston Porter Memorial Scholarship Fund.