Two Oklahoma men are continuing a family tradition by taking part in the Inter-State Rodeo in Coffeyville this month.
Rodeo announcer Justin McKee of Lenapah says he's spent a week of nearly every August in his life in Coffeyville. That's where he started dating his wife Jeannie. He's competed in the steer roping and continues to be the man behind the microphone.
McKee saw the next generation of his family enter the rodeo last year when his daughter Kassidy carried the American flag in the grand entry.
"That was just about as big a deal as anything that ever happened," McKee said.
Another Lenapah man, Parker Howell, is a rancher and steer wrestler. He attended the Inter-State Fair and rodeo when he was a kid and has competed twice. He finished third last year, following in the footsteps of his maternal uncles and his grandfather – who all competed in steer wrestling in Coffeyville.
He returns to competition for the first time since suffering a separated shoulder earlier this summer.
"I've been going there ever since I can remember, being a little bitty small kid, watching my uncles at the rodeo. It's been a big deal in my family for a long time," Howell said.
The rodeo is part of nine days of the Inter-State Fair in Coffeyville, running through August 18. Bull riding takes place on August 14, and four nights of rodeo wrap up the week, August 15-18.
Go to the Coffeyville Inter-State Fair web site for more information, or call 1-800-952-3247.