Union County Fair kicks off with ranch rodeo - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Union County Fair kicks off with ranch rodeo

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ANNA, Ill. -- The 138th annual Union County Fair began Friday night and dozens came out for the kick-off event, the ranch rodeo. 

The fair is a tradition for many families like Cobden resident Billie Henderson, who is the fifth generation to attend. 

"When I was a kid, we lived on a farm," Henderson says. "We didn’t take vacations, but my dad would suspend all farming and coming to the fair was our vacation." 

Henderson kept the tradition alive by watching the ranch rodeo. "I like it because it shows what ranchers actually do. How they work their animals, and what it takes to actually run a ranch." she says. 

Bill Clutts, a fair board member, explains a ranch rodeo has nothing to do with bull riding. Instead, it mimics the daily activities of ranchers.  

"Wild cow milking. They have to rope the cow, mug her and get a little bit drop of milk in the bottom just enough to pour out where I can see," Clutts says. 

While another event imitates branding cattle, "You have to get your calf down and put a mark on it," Clutts explains. 

Although its not Kayson Wagoner's first rodeo, it is his first time attending the ranch rodeo at Union County Fair. The six-year-old hopes to participate himself when he's old enough, "ride horses and rope them." 

Maybe, one day, turning this rodeo into a tradition for his own family. 

The Union County Fair runs until August 26th. For more information click here

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