MENDON, Ill. -- With only around 600 diagnoses each year, neuroblastoma is a relatively rare cancer, but it accounts for 15 percent of all childhood cancer deaths.
Ethan's Rodeo -- the annual fundraiser named in memory of Ethan Weiman, who fought neurblastoma for two years, from 2007 to 2009 -- has raised more than $300,000 for neuroblastoma research over the years. The ninth annual Ethan's Rodeo will be held Aug. 17 to 18 at the Adams County Fairgrounds near Mendon.
"It's important that somebody continue to fund this research," said Alicia Weiman, Ethan's mother. "It's nice to be able to help out and eventually find a cure."
Part of the Outlaw Rodeo 2018 tour, Ethan's Rodeo features award-winning contestants and livestock. Rodeo clown "Smiley" Todd Pettigrew will participate in each performance, and there will be pyrotechnics. The rodeo consists of bull riding, bucking horses, steer wrestling and roping events. It is sanctioned by the United Rodeo Association and the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association.
Weiman said between 2,500 and 4,000 spectators turn out for the event each year.
"It's a family fun day, so people come back year after year," she said.
The rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m. both nights. On Friday, gates and concessions open at 5 p.m.
Gates and concessions will open at 4 p.m. Saturday for additional family activities, which include a petting zoo, a meet-and-greet with Smiley Todd Pettigrew, Broken Spoke Mounted Posse Mounted Shooting Contest, pony rides, bounce house and more.
The Stew Boys will perform from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, and the Tri-County Tailgaters will perform after the rodeo both nights. There will also be a stick horse parade at 7 p.m. each night for children 10 and under and a sheep chase during the rodeo for children 6 and under.
Tickets are available at ethansrodeo.com, the Butcher Block, the Barry Travel Plaza and FS in Camp Point, Ill.