Rodeo provides thrill for special needs students - WSMV Channel 4

Rodeo provides thrill for special needs students

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LEBANON, TN (WSMV) -

The Wilson County Fairgrounds was an open playground for special needs children throughout the county today.

The group of around 300 children spent several hours taking their turns on the pony ride, playing games and participating in a miniature rodeo. It was all free, but the memories are priceless.

"It's a good therapy for her muscles," said Michelle Hill, a mother of one of the participants. "She just enjoys doing everything. She's very social anyway, so it's just a fun-filled day for them."

The rodeo was held prior to the Whip Crackin' Rodeo tonight and tomorrow at the fairgrounds. The rodeo raises money for local charities.

"Last year, I had one boy come up to me and he said 'Are you the mayor?' and I said 'Yes,'" said Lebanon Mayor Phillip Craighead. "He said, 'This is the best day I've ever had in my whole life.' You know ... goes right through your heart. That right there is worth it all."

The main events are tonight and tomorrow night, but many say this is the best part.

"Our goal is that these children walk away from this event feeling that they have achieved things that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do," said event organizer Michelle Hill.

Though the events help the kids work on their physical and mental skills, it's more about the fun.

"This morning in the class they were so excited," said Hill. "They were running around the room, trying to calm them down. It was just fun to watch their faces. That's the joy of it."

The Whip Crackin' Rodeo begins at 7 tonight and tomorrow night at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. Admission is $10 for adults in advance or $15 at the gate. Children 12 and under can get in for $10.

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