Wilmington Rodeo is an evening not to be missed

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After becoming the first night rodeo in South Australia about 20 years ago, the Wilmington Rodeo has gone from strength to strength.

Now in its 53rd year, the rodeo is considered to be one of the biggest rodeos in Australia and is an evening not to be missed.

Wilmington Rodeo assistant secretary Gill Leppanen said the rodeo is a major event for the small country town of Wilmington and more than 2000 people are expected to attend with the action kicking off at 7pm on Saturday, January 26.

According to Gill there will be bull riding, saddle bronc, bareback and barrel race events at the rodeo with around 180 entrants vying for a chance to win some of the $20,000 in prize money.

There will also be an array of junior events, with the committee encouraging more juniors to take part this year so they can have some practice.

There will be plenty of other entertainment for the whole family with a bouncy castle, mechanical bull rides, clothing stalls, plus live music from Tracey Rains and Attitude after the event.

Full bar facilities and catering will be available and you can also camp for free on the night.

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“The Lions will be serving hot doughnuts, there will be a strawberries and ice-cream van from Adelaide, the committee will have a barbecue with hot dogs and baked potatoes and at 6.30 the next morning there will be a recovery breakfast on grounds,” Gill said.

“There will also be an ATM machine, which is so convenient.”

All money raised at the event will go to the Royal Flying Doctor Service plus local clubs and groups.

The committee would like to remind patrons that the Wilmington township, carpark and camping grounds are dry areas for your safety and security.

The Wilmington Rodeo Club is a not for profit organisation run by a small hard-working committee and wonderful volunteers from the local community who help maintain the ground to provide patrons with a first-class facility.

“Older members of the committee have been encouraging the younger members to keep up the tradition and we are really lucky to have a lot of younger members this year,” Gill said.

“They bring fresh ideas and a lot more energy than us older ones,” she joked.