Originally published Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 06:18p.m.

At a time when the nation is becoming more and more divided, it is important for small towns to find a common bond to rally around and support.

Kingsmen President Joe Way is aware of that and knows Mohave County is the perfect spot for rodeo to flourish and bring the community together.

“Kingman has basically been a Western cowboy town all the way back to Andy Devine – he was raised downtown in the old motel,” Way said. “The concept of Kingman, but really Mohave County, needs to stay in the cowboy business. In my opinion, a lot of communities nationwide are losing their sense of being and what they stand for. Kingman has an ideal scenario here if they stand firm, but they’re going to need the support of the communities because it takes money to keep all this up.”

The Kingsmen have continued to do their part in keeping rodeo alive and well, and will host the Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Circuit on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29 at Mohave County Fairgrounds, 2600 Fairgrounds Ave.

Rodeo fans are in for a treat as there is a big difference from the PRCA Pro Rodeo which was held in June.

“This rodeo is a different animal – it’s more like a professional ranch rodeo,” Way said. “For the last two weeks we’ve had open books for locals to enter. You can’t do PRCA without a $2,500 card. A lot of cowboys around here can’t afford a PRCA card. So they’ll be at this one.”

And it won’t just be locals competing. Cowboys and cowgirls from at least four different states will make the trip to Kingman.

The large number of competitors will be beneficial for fans, but that also requires more work. The Kingsmen have rolled up their sleeves and stayed busy, and they’ve also benefited from a few helping hands.

However, there is always need for more help.

“Volunteers are hard to come by,” Way said. “Some of them took time off their jobs – they’ve been here all week long getting things set up.”

That job was finished Thursday and the bulls, cattle and horses arrived later in the evening. Way expects fans to enjoy a great rodeo and it starts with event slack (when more contestants enter than can compete during a regular scheduled event) at 8 a.m. Saturday, followed by the rodeo at 6 p.m. Action concludes Sunday with events starting at 2 p.m.

“I think we’ll get a lot of people coming in the gate because it’s more of a professional ranch rodeo,” Way said. “There will be a lot of locals and a lot of people from all over. We’ve had our phones ringing constantly. They’re worried about tickets; they’re wanting to rope and to do this and do that.”