When envisioning what Tuscaloosa's first post-quarantine event would look like, many residents might envision a football game in Bryant-Denny Stadium this fall. However, after four months of no sports, Tuscaloosa residents were able to gather underneath the flood lights once again. This time, it was at Munny Sokol Park for the 12th Annual Arena Rodeo.

"This is our first one [since the coronavirus pandemic]," said Billy Hudson, owner of the Double Creek Rodeo. "We haven't had a spectator – now, we've had some rodeos but not with fans – since the first weekend of March."

Hudson said the Tuscaloosa rodeo is one of the biggest outdoor rodeos that the company runs, with competitors coming from all across southeast.

One of these competitors is 20-year-old bull rider, Blake Odom. A native of Florence, Mississippi, about three hours away from Tuscaloosa, Odom has been on the tour for two years and was looking to clinch his first win in the new year.

"When you ride a bull you feel like you are 10 feet tall," Odom said. "It's an adrenaline rush – there's nothing like it."

Odom added that he was excited to be a part of the first fan-inclusive event in months, saying it was "great to see everyone together."

Marc Lahmann, one-half of The Rawhide and Dusty Show, couldn't agree more.

"It's awesome – great crowd, good people, everybody is having a good time, everybody is ready to get out," said Lahmann, who performs tricks with a bullwhip alongside his equine partner, Dusty.

James Benedetto
James Benedetto

Lahmann stole the show as he succeeded in corralling two longhorns to stand on top of a livestock trailer. Lahmann, who created the show 21 years ago, is known for being able to get his horse up on top of the trailer and rock back and forth on a seesaw.

"It takes a lot of time," he said. "It is just every day practice. You'll spend a couple of years on a horse getting him to do something like this... It's been fun."

The rodeo concluded on Saturday, but if you missed it, these cowpokes aren't going too far. Catch the Double Creek Rodeo in Pelham, Alabama on Oct. 11 and 12. Keep up with on their journey by following their Facebook page here.

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Photos from 12th Annual Tuscaloosa Rodeo

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