A multitude of activities are planned for the Armada fair from August 15 to 21 – Macomb Daily

Concerts featuring musicians like Aaron Lewis and the Stateliners.

Monster trucks and a demolition derby.

Tractor and truck pulls.

Candy apples, popcorn and carnival.

Horses, roosters, bunnies and even a Lego display and candy race.

People aren’t kidding when they say there’s something for everyone at the Armada Fair which runs August 15-21.

“We’ll be there,” said Cathy Johnson of Paris, Michigan and co-owner of Super Kicker Rodeo. “We have a show tonight in Harrison and tomorrow night we are in Mt. Pleasant for the Isabella County Fair.”

By “we” she means her family, including her husband and rodeo announcer Joe Johnson, their two sons and a team of men and women dedicated to their sport and determined to put on a good show.

“They were wonderful,” said Mary Straubel, who is the Armada Fair office manager and remembers how impressed she and the other members of the organizing committee were when they saw the Super Kicker Rodeo for the first time. “We went to a fair convention and these guys were there. “We knew it would be a good family draw.”

They were right.

” It was wonderful. We couldn’t ask for a better show,” Straubel said of the rodeo event that gives local cowboys and cowgirls a chance to participate in a horse sport that has been around since the 1800s.

Some say it started in Colorado.

Two groups of cowboys from neighboring ranches met to settle a dispute over who was better at performing daily cowboy chores, including breaking wild horses – which are used for ranch work like herding cattle or hunt an ox. In some parts of the country, local cowboys would invite friends or even members of a local native tribe to join in competitions that evolved into rodeo events like saddle bronc and bull riding, steer wrestling and barrel racing.

“I was raised in the rodeo industry,” said Cathy, who started out as a little buckeroo working for her father, who founded the rodeo business that she and Joe run with their sons, who are now adults and have their own little buckaroos. “We walked away from dad and have been leading him ever since.”

She was also a barrel racer.

The barrel race is just that – a race against time in a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels set up in the arena.

“The goal for the rider is to have their horse run around the barrels without knocking them over,” said Liz Brockert of Armada and of the women competing in the event. “I remember my first barrel race. I was maybe 10 or 11 and I was on an old baseball horse,” she said, referring to the nickname given to a horse that was fun to ride but usually not very competitive. “We had her forever,” added Brockert, who also participated in the stringing team. “She was older and nobody expected anything but we won first place. It fired me up and I’ve been racing barrels ever since.

Brockert insists it’s also an exciting event to watch, due to the horse’s speed and the rider’s ability to keep it under control and on track.

Cathay agreed.

“I used to handle barrels,” she said, noting it was a natural progression on a ranch.

Besides the action, there are the cowgirls themselves, who are motivated by the cheers they hear in the stands from parents, siblings and neighbors. They are local girls who grew up on nearby farms and ranches, just as many cowboys are local ranchers who want to show off their skills or have decided to make a career out of it.

Cathy and Joe Johnston, owners of Super Kicker Rodeo Production, a company that organizes rodeos across the state. Photo courtesy of the Johnstons

As for running the Super Kicker Rodeo?

“I never thought that in a million years I would be doing this,” she said.

However, once she and Joe got involved in the rodeo because of their son’s interest, their involvement only grew. Joe started making the announcement and Cathy got involved in judging.

“It just took on a life of its own,” she said, noting that once she heard Joe speak to the crowd about rodeo, America, and his faith in God and his country, she also knew in her heart that this was what they were supposed to do. do.

“It’s like a mission,” she says. “My goal is for a family to come see the show and be entertained for two hours.”

FOR YOUR INFORMATION

What also makes this year’s fair special is the fact that it has been a gathering of cowboys, cowgirls, friends, family and neighbors since 1872.

In honor of the 150-year milestone and to celebrate the Armada Fair, organizers have scheduled a parade at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 14.

Monday marks the start of the fair with the doors opening at 8am

Fair attendees will find a variety of morning activities, including 4-H events and competitions among local youth.

At noon, the refreshment tent opens and offers visitors a variety of food, including dinners, snacks, and all the goodies you could imagine at a fair.

The carnival opens at 4 p.m.

Daily passes cost $30, but tickets can also be purchased for individual rides.

The fair’s opening night will feature music from Aaron Lewis and the Stateliners. The concert starts at 8:30 p.m. but the stands will be open from 7 p.m. Access to the stands is free with paid entry to the fair.

The cost of admission is $10 plus $5 for parking. Children 10-12 are $5. Children under 9 are free.

The Armada Fairgrounds is located at 74280 Fair St., Armada.

For more information and a calendar of events, visit armadafair.org

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