Bull riders, cattle ropers and barrel racers will all charge out of the gate this weekend as the Gene Autry Oklahoma Rodeo kicks off today.

The annual Gene Autry Oklahoma Rodeo at the Gene Autry Roping Club Arena starts at 8 p.m. tonight with mutton busting before the main event at 8:30 p.m. During the main event, spectators can expect to see cowboys and cowgirls trying not to get bucked off while ranch bronc riding, or not knocking a barrel over as riders race the clock to beat the competition. The rodeo will also feature team roping, tie down roping, bull riding, ladies hay hopping, a donkey race, and a calf scramble.

“It’s just good family entertainment,” Gene Autry Roping Club President Rick Woodbridge said. “It’s the biggest rodeo in Carter County.”

Woodbridge said the club started planning for the rodeo in January and have been anticipating the event ever since. He said the club is expecting over 300 spectators each night.

Dale Lyons, the stock contractor for the event, said he’s been helping put on the rodeo for 25 years, but the Gene Autry Oklahoma rodeo has been going on for more than 30 years.

Lyons said his favorite part of the rodeo is seeing the spectators in awe.

“My favorite part is keeping the spectators involved,” Lyons said. “That’s my main goal. A rodeo is like a movie and we have to keep them interested.”

Rodeo contestants will compete against each other for prize money, and glory. After Friday’s events, spectators are encouraged to come back Saturday when the dusty magic will happen all over again.

Saturday night’s events also kick off at 8 p.m. with mutton busting. On Saturday, the Rodeo Queen will be announced.

Tickets are $10 at the gate, or $8 in advanced from any of the queen contestants. The Rodeo Queens are competing to see who can sell the most tickets and ad books. The winner will be awarded the title of queen, receive a custom saddle and a percent of the sales.

For advance tickets contact Brittany Graves at 580-618-3397, Gracie Stephens 580-220-4308 or Tori Underwood at 580-263-9683.