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Old Fort Days Rodeo in full swing

Thousands of people will be at Kay Rodgers Park this week for the 89th annual Old Fort Days Rodeo.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — For 89 years people have been coming out to Kay Rodgers Park for the Old Fort Days Rodeo.

“If you have a goal and set your mind to it, you can do it. As long as you use your hard work and motivation, you can get anywhere," said flag runner Aniston Basham. 

A life lesson Aniston Basham has learned growing up around the rodeo.

For the last two years, she’s been in the arena with her horse Maverick as a flag runner.

“As a little girl, I always looked up to all of the girls that were out here riding their horses in the arena, so now that I have the chance to do it I like to think that I'm now a role model for those girls. So it’s a really good experience and the emotions— I can't even describe them," said Basham.

A special experience not only for Basham but for Molly Musick as well. She first watched her sister win Miss Rodeo Arkansas in 2009 and now she holds that same title. 

“It really is unbelievable. That’s kind of an experience you think about your whole life, like, 'one day I hope I can be that,' and now that I am living my dream, it's truly unbelievable," said Musick.

Grant Parker used to be a professional bareback rider.

“There's no feeling like getting on a rig and nodding your head," said Parker.

He wants to extend that excitement to people out in the stands.

He does this by bringing a saddle broke bull.

“We allow the crowd to sit on him, put their hand in the rope, sit the chute, and experience what a bull rider experiences when they climb down in a shoot," said Parker.

Rodeo chairman Jerry Efurd remembers volunteering to help take care of the animals as a teenager, and now he gets to help plan the whole event.   

“Walk around, enjoy the activities outside, come in, watch the rodeo— here we just hardly see anyone walk away that didn’t have a great time,” said Efurd.

The Old Fort Days Rodeo will wrap up on Saturday, June 4.

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