ABBYVILLE, Kan. (AP) _ Competitors will round up once again to participate in a rodeo held since the 1960s in a small central Kansas town.

The Hutchinson News ( ) reports the 53rd annual Abbyville Frontier Days and PRCA Rodeo will open Friday night.

The demise of the rodeo and Abbyville _ which has a population of around 80 _ has been predicted several times in the past.

Residents say the rodeo is proof of their determination for their community to survive. Between 1,500 and 2,000 people are expected to attend the competition each night this weekend.

The Abbyville Rodeo is a fully sanctioned competition under the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. A pavilion that will be used in the rodeo was dedicated during an informal rope-cutting ceremony Thursday.