Photo by George Hipple Photography
Hold on to your hats, Nebraska, the Buffalo Bill Rodeo is ready to stampede into North Platte during NebraskalandDays June 12-15.
The pro rodeo is four days of wild west entertainment, a tribute to the cowboy skills used on Nebraska ranches for the past 100 years and still used today.
Several hundred cowboys and cowgirls come through North Platte for the rodeo, as well as thousands of fans who make the Buffalo Bill Rodeo and NebraskalandDays part of their summer tradition.
The 15-day NebraskalandDays celebration includes parades, prime rib feeds, car shows and concerts by Kid Rock and rockers Halestorm and Sick Puppies.
For North Platte City Administrator Jim Hawks, he loves the way the rodeo and NLD celebration unite the community and region.
The thing I like about it is it brings the whole community together," Hawks said. "As a city administrator, anything that gets us to pull in one direction is great.
Hawks grew up in Lexington and as a kid, his family would come to North Platte for the parade and the rodeo.
I've been around it a long time.
Hawks also served five years on the NLD Board, with three of those years as president.
Pro Tour FMX Freestyle Motocross will entertain during the rodeo with another kind of horsepower -- motorcycles -- each night.
The rodeo barrelman and clown is John Harrison of Soper, Okla., who has never performed in North Platte but has seen pictures of his granddad, world champion bull rider Freckles Brown, riding at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo.
The bullfighters are Quirt Hunt of North Platte, and Andy Burelle of Ardmore, Okla., Fan favorites Hadley Barrett of Kersey, Colo. and Randy Corley of Silverdale, Wash. will announce the rodeo.
Beutler and Son Rodeo Co., Elk City, Okla., will bring livestock.
The Buffalo Bill Rodeo begins each night at 8 p.m. June 12-15. Tickets can be purchased online at NebraskalandDays.com, by calling the NLD office (888-313-5606), or at the gate.
The Buffalo Bill Rodeo was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Hall of Fame in 2008.