Hancock County Livestock Show Spurs Nostalgia

Bull riding, mule pulling and barrel racing make up a tradition that is still alive and well in Hancock County. Organizers of the fourth annual Hancock County Live Stock Show and Rodeo say the event has gained popularity over the years.

Wayne Gandy of Hazlehurst says watching the mule pulling competition rekindled childhood memories of growing up on the family farm.

"I'm 75 now and I remember all this," said Gandy. "It just brings back good memories and to me that was back in the good ole days when you used mules to work crops."

Organizers say every year they see more faces in the crowds because events like this one celebrate Mississippi's rural heritage.

Wade Ladner of the Hancock County 4-H Club said "We have a lot of agriculture interest in Mississippi. We've been in deep rich agriculture for a long time and it's getting to the point where we're losing a lot of our agriculture ground and a lot of people want to hang on to that, so they come to the county fair to kind of bring back memories of that."

Young competitors say growing up surrounded by technology, hasn't hurt their love for the rodeo. In fact, they say others their age could benefit from turning off their television sets and coming out here.

Ten year old Eric Madere said "It's different because you can come out the box and rope and win something and it's fun."

The annual live stock show and rodeo is the major fundraiser for the Hancock County 4-H club.