It’s college rodeo time again in Manhattan, Kansas.

The 64th annual K-State Rodeo is set Friday through Sunday, Feb. 14-16, at Weber Arena on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan.

“There’ll be more than 500 contestants and we’re anticipating at least 10,000 spectators from throughout the Midwest,” said Casy Winn, the K-State Rodeo Team coach.

Contestants will come from 19 colleges and universities in the Central Plains Region, according to Winn.

“Our rodeo draws one of the biggest crowds of any National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association event across the country,” Winn stated. “The great attendance highlights the hard work of current and past K-State Rodeo Club members. This rodeo has team leaders putting efforts together for such a successful showing.”

Activities kick off Friday evening, Feb. 14, with Tough Enough To Wear Pink Night at 7:30.

“It’s planned to benefit those struggling with cancer while working to find a cure for the dreaded disease,” Winn said.

Starting at 1 p.m., second rodeo performance is the Saturday matinee.

“It’ll be a benefit for the Flint Hills Breadbasket with all children under 12 admitted free when donating a can of food,” Winn noted.

K-State Rodeo Team Alumni along with friends are planning a social in the nearby Stanley Stout Center at 4 p.m.

“This is such a fun time as cowboys and cowgirls gather to reminisce their college rodeo days,” Winn said.

Coronation of the new Miss Rodeo K-State is set Saturday evening at 7 p.m., with the third rodeo performance at 7:30.

“We’re anticipating Pack Weber with Purple Night as spectators overflow the bleachers,” Winn said.

Appropriate for those living the cowboy way, there’ll be Cowboy Church Sunday morning, Feb. 16, in Weber Arena beginning at 10 a.m..

Military Appreciation Day is the short-go finals Sunday afternoon performance recognizing all serving for everyone’s freedom at 1 p.m.

Events include saddle and bareback bronc riding, team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, tie-down roping, breakaway roping, goat tying, and bull riding.

“The K-State Rodeo Club prides itself in being a student lead organization. Throughout each year, the club hosts many events highlighted by the rodeo,” Winn said. “The Western way of life can be quite the thrill.

“The club would not be able to put on such prestigious events without the generous help of sponsors. We thank you for your consideration and your support is greatly appreciated.”

Details can be found at www.kstaterodeoclub.com.

Frank J. Buchman is a writer and rancher located in the Flint Hills of Kansas.

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