Rodeo brings flavor of Old West to Columbia County

John Leinaweaver wrestles a steer at the Benton Rodeo on Thursday night. - Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader
Joseph Courville is let out of the gates during the bareback bronc competition at the Benton Rodeo. - Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader
Doug Simcox announces at the Benton Rodeo. - Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader
Riders cast a long shadow as the sun sets and they line up to hit the ring at the Benton Rodeo. - - Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader
A young competitor in the mutton bustin’ challenge tries to hang onto a sheep at the Benton Rodeo on Thursday evening. His goal was to hang on for 6 seconds. - - Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader
Cowboys exchange a grin at the Benton Rodeo. - - Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader
Shadows form a silhouette steeped in Americana. - - Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader
Aimee Dilger|Times Leader - - Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader
Plenty of action and excitement can be found at the Benton Rodeo. - - Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader
Aimee Dilger|Times Leader - - Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader
Aimee Dilger|Times Leader - - Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader
A cowgirl carries the American flag onto the Benton Rodeo grounds. Competition continues Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m., and the rodeo concludes with Sunday’s Bull-A-Rama. - - Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader

BENTON — You don’t have to travel west of the Rockies, not even west of the Mississippi to find cowboys, cowgirls and all the excitement of a rodeo.

Heck, just travel about 30 miles west of Wilkes-Barre, and you’ll find the Benton Rodeo, just off Route 487 in Columbia County.

Action there the past two days has included bronco riding, ladies breakaway competition and, for the youngest cowboys and cowgirls, a chance to see if they can hang onto a sheep’s back while the sheep, naturally, tries to buck them off. That last event is called mutton bustin.’

Saturday’s rodeo action and Sunday’s Bull-A-Rama competition both begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for children.

For more photos from the annual Benton Rodeo, see Sunday’s Life section.

John Leinaweaver wrestles a steer at the Benton Rodeo on Thursday night.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_rodeo1.jpgJohn Leinaweaver wrestles a steer at the Benton Rodeo on Thursday night. Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader

Joseph Courville is let out of the gates during the bareback bronc competition at the Benton Rodeo.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072118Rodeo6.jpgJoseph Courville is let out of the gates during the bareback bronc competition at the Benton Rodeo. Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader

Doug Simcox announces at the Benton Rodeo.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072118Rodeo7.jpgDoug Simcox announces at the Benton Rodeo. Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader

Riders cast a long shadow as the sun sets and they line up to hit the ring at the Benton Rodeo.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_rodeo11.jpgRiders cast a long shadow as the sun sets and they line up to hit the ring at the Benton Rodeo. Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader

A young competitor in the mutton bustin’ challenge tries to hang onto a sheep at the Benton Rodeo on Thursday evening. His goal was to hang on for 6 seconds.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072118Rodeo12.jpgA young competitor in the mutton bustin’ challenge tries to hang onto a sheep at the Benton Rodeo on Thursday evening. His goal was to hang on for 6 seconds. Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader

Cowboys exchange a grin at the Benton Rodeo.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072118Rodeo13.jpgCowboys exchange a grin at the Benton Rodeo. Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader

Shadows form a silhouette steeped in Americana.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072118Rodeo14.jpgShadows form a silhouette steeped in Americana. Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader

Aimee Dilger|Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072118Rodeo15.jpgAimee Dilger|Times LeaderAimee Dilger photos | Times Leader

Plenty of action and excitement can be found at the Benton Rodeo.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072118Rodeo16.jpgPlenty of action and excitement can be found at the Benton Rodeo. Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader

Aimee Dilger|Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072118Rodeo17.jpgAimee Dilger|Times LeaderAimee Dilger photos | Times Leader

Aimee Dilger|Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072118Rodeo18.jpgAimee Dilger|Times LeaderAimee Dilger photos | Times Leader

A cowgirl carries the American flag onto the Benton Rodeo grounds. Competition continues Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m., and the rodeo concludes with Sunday’s Bull-A-Rama.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072118Rodeo19.jpgA cowgirl carries the American flag onto the Benton Rodeo grounds. Competition continues Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m., and the rodeo concludes with Sunday’s Bull-A-Rama. Aimee Dilger photos | Times Leader