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Eaton County Fair is back, and it started with a rodeo

Rodeo at the Eaton County Fair
Waiting for the event to begin
Spectators waiting for the rodeo start
Rodeo Spectators
Steak tips at the fair
"Backstage" at the rodeo
Posted at 6:43 AM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 12:14:34-04

CHARLOTTE, Mich. — The Eaton County Fair kicked off on Sunday night with a good, old-fashioned rodeo.

At the rodeo

“We’re going to be riding bucking horses and riding bulls and doing some roping, and the girls are going to be running their horses around a clover-leaf pattern,” Joe Johnston, owner of Super Kicker Rodeo Production.

Joe Johnston

Scott Underwood, marketing for the Eaton County Fair board, said they were excited to be back this year. Last year’s fair was canceled due to COVID-19. It was only the second cancellation in the fairs more than 100-year history.

“We hope for a really good turnout," Underwood said. "I think people are excited to get back to normal life and want to experience the good, old American carnival: deep-fried food, the rodeos, the motocross, all the bands, and the excitement.”

Johnston said his rodeo will be in about 24 fairs this summer, the Eaton County Fair being the first.

“We try to keep everything moving real fast. It’s good family entertainment," Johnston said. "We have mutton-busting for the kids and a local scramble to get the kids involved in the rodeo.”

Chris DeBaeke is the rodeo clown for Super Kicker Rodeo Production.

The rodeo clown and announcer

“It’s just a lot of fun," DeBaeke said. "I mean, I had my nose broken five times and twice my wife did it, so I’m used to it.”

The rodeo announcer, Brandon Donald laughed, "That's true."

Donald continued, “These cowboys and cowgirls, they come to town to win. They’re all aggressive and it ain’t no joke. It’s electric from the start of it to the end of it, you’re going to have a good time. No doubt.”

Kendra and Karoline Gailey

This was Karoline Gailey's first rodeo.

“We are here because this girl is passionate about horses and the rodeo," her mother Kendra Gailey said, holding her in her arms. "She’s been pumped all weekend.”

The Eaton County Fair will host a second rodeo Monday night, along with many other events throughout the week. The fair’s last day will be Saturday. For more information on the Eaton County Fair, click here.

2021 Eaton County Fair activities

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