For the seventh year in a row, the Forrest County Multipurpose Center will offer Pine Belt residents music, barrel racing and other rodeo-style events with Bulls, Bands and Barrels, which will make Hattiesburg the last stop on this year’s tour around the country.
The event, which styles itself as “This Ain’t Your Grandpappy’s Rodeo,” will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 22 at the center and is billed as featuring “the rankest bulls in the southeast and the fastest equines” in the business.
“We do anywhere from eight to 10 stops throughout the Southeast over the year, and our main objective is to bring family entertainment to the area,” said Hunter Price, tour president of Bulls, Bands and Barrels. “Hattiesburg is somewhat of a second home to us, due to the fact that this is the seventh year coming there, and when we started this in 2014, this was one of the first events that we did.
“So, we like to bring family entertainment to the area. With all the negative news in the world today, if somebody can get out and have fun for one night, that’s what we’re trying to do.”
The event will feature 20 to 30 of the country’s best bull riders, who will attempt to stay on the bull for an eight-second buzzer. If a rider stays on the buzzer for that required time, he gets a score and a chance to compete in the championship round; if not, he is eliminated.
The cowgirls will compete after the men to determine who can make the fastest time racing around barrels in a figure-8 pattern.
Intermission will feature competition freestyle bull fighting, and country music stars Koe Wetzel and Travis Clark will provide musical entertainment. In addition, two-time Professional Bull Riders world champion Chris Shivers will make a special appearance for autographs and photos with fans.
Tickets for the event are available now and can be purchased online at bigtickets.com. Adult tickets are $30 each – or $35 the day of the event – and children’s tickets are $15.
Event staff are working closely with the venue and local officials to ensure safety protocols are met during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know everybody’s anxious for a live entertainment experience, and we’re anxious to bring it to the market,” Price said. “We’re staying in contact with the venue to get health updates as we get closer to the event date.
“The main thing we want to do is stay with local officials and heed every warning, because we want a safe environment for any contestants and fans, for sure.”
Even though the event is still a month away, Price has already received a large amount of positive feedback from people looking forward to attending.
“This is our seventh year, and pre-sales so far at this date are better than they’ve ever been,” Price said. “The artists that we’re bringing in … have sold out venues across the Southeast. The music part is the big thing of it, but (there’s a bit of everything).
“We used to put on just bull riding, and we started to put some concerts behind them to see if that would work, and that’s where Bulls, Barrels and Bands came from. There’s a lot of people come for the bull riding with their families and enjoy that, and as soon as the bull riding and barrel racing is over, they would leave. Then we’ve got some folks that come toward the end of the show for just the concert, and some that stay for half the concert and leave. So, it’s something for everybody.”