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'Duck Dynasty's' Uncle Si appearing at Great Falls rodeo

By Nancy Parsons

A TV celebrity is coming to Great Falls as part of the Great Falls Rescue Squad’s 6th Annual Pro Rodeo.

Si “Uncle Si” Robertson, who appears on A&E’s most-watched reality television series, “Duck Dynasty,”will be at the rodeo for a “meet and greet” session.

Back for a third season, “Duck Dynasty” features a Louisiana bayou family – the Robertson family – living the American dream as they operate a thriving business while staying true to their family values and lifestyle.

“This show is clean family fun which is very spiritual and usually ends with family prayer,” said Great Falls Rescue Squad Captain Terry Sims.

Ducky Dynasty airs at 10 p.m. on A&E on Wednesday nights.

The Robertson family became wealthy from their family-operated business, Duck Commander, which makes products for duck hunters, primarily the duck call named Duck Commander.

The Robertson men, brothers Phil and Si, and Phil’s sons, Jase, Willie and Jep, are known for their long, flowing beards.

The business began in a dilapidated family shed where Phil Robertson spent 25 years making duck calls from Louisiana cedar trees. His son, Willie, is CEO of the company.

Since the show’s premiere, the Robertsons have been busy being America’s favorite big-bearded, camo-clad family. Despite their modest lifestyle and homes in the backwoods, this close-knit family has made a fortune on duck calls by turning a backyard business into a multi-million dollar sporting empire.

Si Robertson, the youngest brother of Phil Robertson, can be seen on almost every Duckmen DVD of the Duck Commander TV show. Si has worked and hunted for Duck Commander since retiring from the U.S. Army in 1993.

He spends his time making all the reeds for the Duck Commander calls, working out at the land with Phil, preparing for the next duck season and when the season rolls around, you’ll find him in the blind.

Si Robertson lives in West Monroe, La., with his wife, Christine.

The Vietnam veteran will often share his war stories with the guys, which usually gets the crew behind schedule, much to Willie’s dismay.

Si’s most famous story is that while serving overseas, his mother sent him a blue mug.

Thirty years later, the mug is still hanging from his back pocket and he continues to only drink from the cup, every day.

Uncle Si will hold a “meet and greet” from 3 to 5 p.m. on June 15, during a guest appearance at the rodeo.

Tickets for the “meet and greet” with Uncle Si and Saturday night’s rodeo are on sale at www.greatfallsrescue.com and will be sold at the gate.

Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for children ages 4 to 12. Children under 3 will be admitted free. Proof of age may be required.

Parking is $5 and includes tractor rides from the parking area to the admission gate.

Gates open at noon June 15 for the “Meet and Greet.”

Friday will be termed “Family Night” as ticket prices are lowest during this rodeo performance. Gates will open at 6 p.m. with show time at 8 p.m.

Tickets are available online at www.greatfallsrescue.com and will be sold at the gate.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages four to 12. Children under 3 years old will be admitted free. Parking is $5, which includes tractor rides from the parking area to the admissions gate.

The rodeo will be held in front of Morcon in the William States Lee Industrial Park at 2536 James R. Baker Blvd. in Great Falls on the night of June 14; and June 15.

There will be food and concession vendors both nights.

The rodeo is sanctioned by the International Professional Rodeo Association.

As an added bonus, Lauren Terry, the 50th Miss Rodeo USA, will also attend the event.

Terry was crowned Miss Rodeo USA on Jan. 20 in Oklahoma City. during the International Finals Rodeo. She is traveling all over the U.S. and parts of Canada representing the International Professional Rodeo Association.

Terry has taken a year off from her studies at Auburn University, where she is majoring in animal science – production management, to fulfill her duties and live a dream as Miss Rodeo USA.

Growing up in Moulton, Ala., Terry is no stranger to a lifestyle with horses. Her family owns and operates Iron Rail Arena. She knows what is required to successfully produce a top- notch rodeo.

Terry describes her life as “blessed.” Being able to participate in horse shows and youth rodeos, Terry has made lifelong friends and learned the importance of respect. Through her travels, she has witnessed and was the recipient of many acts of kindness. She chose “Roundup Respect” as her speaking platform and plans to share with everyone the importance of treating others with respect, because it truly is the cowboy way.

“Without the love, encouragement and support from family and friends, this dream would not have been possible. I am extremely excited about sharing my journey as Miss Rodeo USA with you all,” Terry said.

Sims is excited about this year’s rodeo and hopes everyone will come out and support the events. He said regular-sized lawn chairs will be allowed at the rodeo.

Sponsors are still needed for the rodeo. You can visit the squad’s website or call 482-4315 for more information.

“We do thank the good Lord above for allowing us to enjoy our blessings and to have a community that supports us like no other,” Sims said. “We look forward to and are proud to bring top notch entertainment to Great Falls.”

Proceeds from the rodeo will go to the general fund/operations budget for the Great Falls Rescue Squad.

The squad is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization.