The “Greatest Show on Dirt” returns to Hattiesburg Jan. 28 and 29 for the 36th Annual Southern Miss Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo. The Department of Campus Recreation at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will host the event at the James Lynn Cartlidge Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center. The rodeo will start at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m.
Crowd favorite Dusti Dickerson, barefoot roman and daring trick rider, will provide special entertainment at the event. From Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede to some of the best rodeos in the world, Dickerson has wowed crowds with her superb horsemanship and daring acts. Southern Miss head baseball coach Scott Berry will serve as the 2022 rodeo grand marshal.
The rodeo, which began in 1986 at the Southern Miss Equestrian Center with J. Hugh Mitchell as the first Grand Marshal, serves as a fundraiser for student scholarships and professional development. The rodeo has been held at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center since its opening in 1999.
Each year at the rodeo, cowboys and cowgirls show off their elite skills in barrel racing, calf roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, team roping, and bull riding. The top riders are eligible to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which is held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“We are fortunate that the rodeo continues to be produced by Harper-Morgan Rodeo Company, the producers of the Dixie National Rodeo. Because of the quality and consistency of a professionally produced PRCA/WPRA rodeo, we have been able provide scholarships annually to Southern Miss students,” said Mark Crager, director of Southern Miss Campus Recreation.
Tickets are on sale at Boot Country on U.S. Highway 49 and Hub City West Farm and Garden on U.S. Pioneer Road in Hattiesburg. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 starting January 28. All seats are reserved and have chair backs.
The rodeo is also sponsored by Southern Beverage, Xfinity, B-95, Pine Belt Motors, Keith’s Super Stores, Hattiesburg Clinic Sports Medicine, Forrest General Hospital, Bourne Brothers Printing, The Hattiesburg American, Neel-Schaffer, Service Master, Papa Johns, Eagle Dining, Southern Miss Campus Recreation, and F45 Training.