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Gladewater rodeo makes its return to bring family fun

This rodeo had humble beginnings in France in the 1930s.

GLADEWATER, Texas — The Gladewater Round Up Rodeo is back for another go around the arena.

Leigh Baggett, rodeo secretary, said this competition attracts talent from across the country.

 "You'll have all bull riders- all cowboys. It's the top names in the nation,” Baggett said.

One of those names is Laramie Mosley, the 26-year-old professional bull rider. 

“I'm entered here. And hopefully, I'll win the best of it,” Mosley gleamed.   

Buddy Walker came to the arena ready to watch with his grandkids.

When asked what keeps him coming back, he said, "Well, right now the grandkids. They love it. And their grandmother makes me come."

What’s now known as the Gladewater Round Up Rodeo started in France in 1938 when World War I veteran Jack Yates used this event to entertain other soldiers.

It was the first rodeo ever to be held in France. Yates moved the festivities to Gladewater after the oil boom in Texas and it’s been growing ever since.

“It's a family event," Baggett said. "It's clean family fun. And it's still one of those affordable things. It's close to home and people like to come.”

Wednesday’s opening night was all about bull riding.

“My favorite part is the calf scramble and when the bull riders ride the bull,” said a young attendee.

Thursday night through Saturday will be a full rodeo: anything from rough stock bulls, saddle bronc, bareback riding, and breakaway roping for the women and barrel racing.

Gates open at 6 p.m. and the rodeo starts at 8:15 p.m. nightly. Admission is $16 for adults and $8 for children 12 and younger. Kids ages 2 and younger are free.

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