79th annual Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo is coming to town

Two people riding horses in a rodeo. Bethany Iles and partner Rider Kiesner will entertain crowds with their trick riding show. [CONTRIBUTED]

The Bonifay Kiwanis Club’s 79th annual Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo is set to be held October 5-7 at Veterans Memorial Field in Bonifay. Activities begin each night at 5:30 p.m., with rodeo events beginning at 7:30 p.m.


The three night event is a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA)  sanctioned RAM Series Rodeo. Events will include barrel racing, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, and a new event added this year: breakaway roping. The kids can take part in the fun with stick horse racing on Thursday night only, mutton bustin’ and also new this year: calf scramble. The latter two will take place all three nights. 


The Rodeo Parade is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, October 6 and 7, at 1 p.m.


Thursday night is kids’ night where children 10 and under are admitted free. Children will be able to meet Bucky the Bull, as well as Jesse and Woody from Disney’s ‘Toy Story 2.’ 


The Holmes County High School Drama Department will provide entertainment for the night.  


Friday night is military and first responders’ night. Will Bannister is headlining the brand new Friday night concert event which will begin at 5:30 p.m. Bannister’s song ‘Find a New Home’ was released with the new Clint Eastwood movie ‘Cry Macho.’


Those in attendance are encouraged to wear red, white, and blue on Friday night and will have the opportunity to participate in Fan of the Night for special prizes.  


To close out the weekend, Saturday night is the RAM Series Rodeo Dress Your Best night. Holmes County’s own, Gunsel, will headline the concert beginning at 5:30 p.m. Chances to win giveaways from the 2023 Rodeo Sponsors and Friends of the Rodeo are scheduled throughout the night.

A group of men standing on the side walk
Holmes County’s very own southern rock band, Gunsel will perform Saturday night at the Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo. [CONTRIBUTED]

In their 10th year providing the livestock for competition is 4 L Rodeo.


A collage of photos with the words team ghost rider
Tim ‘Wild Thang’ Lepard and Team Ghost Riders are set to put on a show at the Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo. [CONTRIBUTED]

Entertainment for this year’s event includes:

-Bethany Iles and partner Rider Kiesner-trick riders extraordinaire

-Tim ‘Wild Thang’ Lepard and Team Ghost Riders where monkeys riding border collies round up sheep

-Buddy the Bull, a 2000 pound  gentle giant waiting for a photo-op with everyone.


A bull with horns and a yellow hat.
2,000 pound Buddy the Bull is a gentle giant and will make an appearance at this year’s rodeo festivities. [CONTRIBUTED]

For more information on the 2023 NWFC Rodeo, visit the Bonifay Kiwanis Club website at



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