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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild's fresh clean ice rink at the Xcel Energy Center has transformed into the Wild Wild West. The St. Paul arena is hosting the World's Toughest Rodeo, a two-night event featuring the nation's most fearless cowboys and cowgirls.

Seven participants in the bull riding competition hail from Minnesota. Fourteen local women will compete in barrel racing.

"This rodeo sets itself apart because this place is electric," said Anthony Lucia, the official announcer of the World's Toughest Rodeo. Lucia is also a world-renowned trick roper.

"This event is known for the talent of the cowboys, the caliber of the livestock and the fans. There is something for everybody and fans love every minute of it. They light this place up, "said Lucia.

Perhaps the most sought-after cowboy is the pint-sized Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey. The western primate will be rounding up wild sheep, atop his Border Collie.

Rising country star, Jon Pardi, known for his hit single, "Up All Night," will perform on Saturday evening.

Doors open at 6:30pm, the rodeo beings at 7:30pm on both Friday, January 31st and Saturday, February 1st.

Kids 12 and under pay half of the ticket price, depending on seating. The first 500 children to arrive on Friday night will receive a free rodeo hat.

For tickets and information, log on to the XCel Energy Center's website.

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