EAST HELENA — When the East Helena rodeo was canceled last year, it was a devastating blow to the rodeo community, namely competitors who are from East Helena.
However, when the rodeo kicked off on Thursday night, there was no shortage of excitement from the local competitors.
"I've been waiting a long time to do this," said junior rodeo competitor Bode Auck. "Last year was going to be my first year to compete actually, in here. And now this year, it's gonna be technically my first year. So pretty excited about it."
"The East Helena rodeo is probably the most fun rodeo that I've ever been to. Just because, every other rodeo -- like we only have one hometown rodeo a year. We're never here, so nobody ever really gets to see us," said breakaway roper Jordyn Everson. "When we're here, it's kind of fun just for them to be able to come watch and stuff like that."
Like Everson noted, rodeo season means a good bit of travelling for competitors and being able to have some friendly faces in the stands and the ability to be in the comfort of their homes between event days are just some of the things they enjoy about their hometown rodeo.
"Everyone that comes here is so fun, like other rodeos that you go to it's kind of like people are kind of not really into it," said Everson. "Here? Everyone's into it. Everyone's having a good time."
"It's pretty cool getting that feeling you know either getting into the arena getting into the box," said Auck.
The East Helena rodeo started on Thursday with the in-county rodeo and will open the Northern Rodeo Association event on Friday.