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(Rich Hickman / American Press)

(Rich Hickman / American Press)

High school rodeo finals return to Lake Area

Last Modified: Thursday, May 30, 2013 6:36 PM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

Get your cowboy hat, put on your boots and saddle up, the Louisiana High School Rodeo Association junior high and high school Finals are back in Lake Charles at the Burton Coliseum.

Events begin today and run through June 8 with more than 300 contestants from across the state vying to be named champion and qualify for the national finals in Wyoming and New Mexico.

Junior high finals will begin today at 2 p.m. with the slack performance followed by the “red, white and blue grand entry theme” at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday the slack performance will kick off events with a “Louisiana Saturday night Mardi Gras grand entry theme” at 6:30 p.m,

“Rodeo and Mardi Gras seem to go hand-in-hand,” Katie Harrington, Mardi Gras of SWLA president, said. “It’s such a rich tie in this area. What better way to bring them together than a Louisiana Saturday Night Mardi Gras at the Rodeo.”

Junior high finals will wrap up on Sunday with a “cancer awareness grand entry theme” beginning at 11 a.m.

“We’re very proud of the tradition that goes along with high school rodeo here in Southwest Louisiana and across the state,” Mayor Randy Roach said. “It’s wonderful to see competitors from all over Louisiana compete and realize that high school rodeo is still alive and well in Louisiana.”

High school finals, beginning 9 a.m. June 3, also have several themed grand entries including “twin night grand entry” June 4, “Duck Dynasty grand entry” June 5, “cancer awareness entry” June 6, “flashback Friday” June 7 and “class colors” June 8.

An alumni rodeo is slated for 1 p.m. June 8 with entries starting at 11 a.m.

LHSRA members 30-years and up can vie for bragging rights in events including breakaway roping, team roping, barrels, chute dogging and ribbon roping.

Entry fee for the alumni rodeo is $25 per event and $50 per team.

The second annaul “King of the Pit” is also slated for June 8 where contestants will compete in a rib cook-off for two barbecue pits that will be awarded to the winning team. Entry fee for cook-off is $50 per two-man team.

Rodeo queens will also host a fashion show to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at 1 p.m. in the Chaukley Room. Admission is $5 and includes jambalaya.

Admission to rodeo events is $7 and children six and under are free.

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