If you're going
* What: The IPRA World Championship Rodeo
* Where: Cumming Fairgrounds arena, 235 Castleberry Road
* When: 8 p.m. Sept. 4 and 7 p.m. Sept. 5
* Tickets: $15 for adults; $12 for senior citizens; $10 for children 5 to 12 years old; free for children under 5
* Contact: (770) 781-3491 or visit www.cummingfair.net
Ken Treadway never had much time to ride a bull.
Between working with his grandfather and father, who ran various rodeos, Treadway said he “never had time to get on them.”
“The guy putting [the cowboys] on [the bulls] is pretty busy, if he does a good job,” he said.
“I was 20 years old before I knew there was anybody that didn’t have rodeos. I thought everybody did.”
Treadway now takes his rodeo to about 30 cities a year. The show features events such as barrel racing, calf roping, steer wrestling and, of course, bull riding.
This coming weekend, he will return to the Cumming Fairgrounds for the International Professional Rodeo Association World Championship Rodeo.
Treadway said the city provides a great facility.
“In fact, it’s the nicest one we go to," he said.
Dave Horton, who manages the fairgrounds, said he expects as many as 5,000 people to attend the weekend rodeo.
The rodeo used to come to town twice a year. After three years of heavy rain, however, Horton said he canceled the spring show.
“With us being at just one rodeo for the year, both days — Saturday and Sunday — we will be close to capacity crowds,” he said.
Horton said he sees new faces at every rodeo, but then “you’ve got the folks here that won’t miss a rodeo.”
“We have a large core of rodeo enthusiasts that do come very year,” he said. “But we get a lot of calls saying, ‘Well gosh, I’ve never been to a rodeo.'”
With a tough economy, Horton said he’s also noticed many people trying to find good value on entertainment.
Treadway said the $15 ticket price makes the rodeo “about the cheapest entertainment there is left."
He refers to the rodeo as the “all-American sport," noting "it was around before baseball was."
Despite decades with rodeos, Treadway said he never tires of watching the events or the fans.
“I like the horses and the bulls and the contestants, but I really like seeing the spectators enjoy it and have a good time,” he said. “I like for the crowd to get into it. We try to have a good family-oriented rodeo and we try to entertain the people.
“If you do a good job and entertain a crowd, you’ll keep them coming.”