Rodeo season returns to Marion on June 17th and 18th for its 27th annual rendition. The Marion Rodeo is one of Marion’s longest still running traditions, having been around since 1995. It has been a constant in good times and bad, even continuing to bring people together during the pandemic of 2020. For two nights a year, during the month of June, the people of Marion and the surrounding counties come together to watch cowboys and cowgirls show off their skills and compete for our entertainment. The 2022 Marion Rodeo is here.
The events begin on Friday and continue on Saturday at the Ralph Eagle Memorial Arena on Highway 14. The gates open at 6 each night, and the Mutton Bustin starts at 6:30. The Rodeo itself begins at 7:30. The Rodeo is professionally co-sanctioned and is produced by 3-R Rodeo Company from Jemison Alabama. All of the proceeds are donated to the Perry County Fire Association’s Crisis Fund. Tickets are $15.00. Admittance is free for those who are 5 & under.
Jennifer Hoggle, one of the original founders of the Rodeo along with her husband Robert said the Marion Rodeo was started in the hopes of bringing Perry County and the Blackbelt Region as a whole together for a weekend of family fun on an entertainment stage anyone could participate in. She stated that the Marion Rodeo has been the biggest tourist attraction in Perry County since its inception. When asked about her favorite event she had this to say: “My favorite event is the Co-Ed Calf Scramble. Anyone over 18 can participate and it’s hilarious watching your friends chase a cow around the ring. People run into each other, they get scared of the cow, sometimes when it rains they get stuck in the mud or lose their shoes; it’s great fun. And it’s also an event that is exclusive to the Marion Rodeo. It’s a great example of how the Rodeo brings the livestock lifestyle and the Way of West to the forefront.”
The Marion Rodeo is a PCA/IPRA sanctioned professional rodeo, and will feature numerous events and exhibitions, including mini-buckers, a trick horse, and children’s events. Mutton Austin’ will start at 6:30 each night, with rodeo events beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Marion native Bambi Hoggle, of the band the Barstool Profits, will open the event with the singing of the National Anthem. Hoggle will dedicate the performance to the memory of her father, the late Jimmy Hoggle, who passed away recently.
Veteran rodeo performer T.J. Williams, who works as a rodeo clown and barrel man, will perform. Williams has been in the rodeo world for over 42 years. This year, he will debut his trick horse act with horse “Buddy Bar the Rodeo Star.”
All of the proceeds go to the Perry County Fire Association for the Crisis Fund that is shared between the 12 Perry County Fire Departments. These 12 Fire Departments are Marion, Uniontown, Sprott, Suttle, Hamburg, Heiburger, East Perry, West Perry, North Perry, Oakmulgee Creek, Perry County, Pinetucky and Vaiden Field. Mrs. Hoggle said that the Fund was started several years ago, but after its founding they were unsure of how to keep it funded and that was why the decision was made to donate the proceeds from the Rodeo.