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First-Ever Welding Rodeo

sparks fly during weldingThree highly competitive teams from across southeastern Kentucky will contend for top honors on Friday, October 23, at the region s first-ever Welding Rodeo to be held at the Amphitheater in downtown Hazard.

The competitors will have a single day to scavenge scrap metal provided by the event and fabricate a fine arts sculpture addressing the event s theme, River Creatures. The winning sculpture will earn its team a cash purchase award as well as a place of honor and prominent display on Hazard s new River Arts Greenway.

Hazard Technical and Community College (HCTC) and Pathfinders of Perry County are the two organizers of the Welding Rodeo. Active competition will take place between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Winners in two categories will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held at the Amphitheater at 5:30 p.m.

Participating teams include students from the welding programs at HCTC in Hazard and Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Prestonsburg. A community-based team from Hazard that is not affiliated with a college but features local residents who have welding skills will also be competing.

The event s organizers have extended a special invitation to K-12 schools throughout the region to attend this event. Visiting K-12 students will be able to:

Observe the welding teams as they design and create metal sculptures that represent both real and imaginary river creatures;

Explore career options and technical programs, including the welding program, that are available through HCTC; and

See and learn more about the River Arts Greenway, a very special new downtown park currently under construction along the North Fork of the Kentucky River that runs through Hazard s historic downtown.

The River Arts Greenway is a new civic space in the heart of Hazard s historic downtown that uses the arts as a catalyst for ongoing downtown revitalization, entrepreneurship, environmental awareness, and community wellness (including community gardens and newly completed walking trail along the riverbank).

We re really excited about our first-ever Welding Rodeo, said Jenny Williams, a Professor of English at HCTC and the president of Pathfinders. It s going to be exciting, fun, and hopefully demonstrate how welding skills can be applied in a fine arts competition to create sculpture that everyone can enjoy on our new downtown River Arts Greenway for years to come!

Viewing opportunities for K-12 groups begin at 9 am on Friday, October 23. To register, K-12 teachers and administrators may contact Tammy Duff at HCTC via email tammy.duff@kctcs.edu or call 606-487-3067.