GERRY, NY (WNY News Now) – People from near and far are flocking to rural Chautauqua County for the 77th year of a famous rodeo.

The Gerry Rodeo, which attracts spectators from all over the country, and even outside the U.S., returned to the county this week.

Contestants from as far as Brazil pay to compete for a large cash prize in a variety of activities including steer wrestling, bull riding, tie down roping, and much more.

All proceeds from the rodeo benefit the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department. The department has hosted the rodeo since 1945 when the idea was first pitched.

Organizer Dave Cooley explained just how important the rodeo is to the fire department and the entire community.

“Everything that we make benefits the fire department. We answer about 350 calls a year here on this busy highway, and with a nursing home up here, it keeps us very busy. We average a call a day usually,” Cooley said. “We couldn’t do it without this. This is our major fundraiser. People should know that when they come to put their money into tickets, they not only get great entertainment and a great meal, but they’re helping the fire department to continue helping the people.”

The rodeo continues until Saturday night. Gates open at 5 p.m. for meals and the show begins at 8 p.m. each night.

For more information on the rodeo, visit www.gerryrodeo.com.