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The man behind the rodeo clown make-up: Kyle Bode

Kyle Bode banters back and forth with rodeo announcer Scott Allen while behind the chutes at the Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Saturday, July 3. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

The sun is sinking, turning the sky on the evening of the Fourth of July into a vibrant canvas of purples, reds and yellows.

The lights at the Vale 4th of July Rodeo arena flash on. Men begin loading the rodeo bulls into the chutes as the riders prepare behind the scenes. The bulls, some weighing nearly a ton, sporadically buck against heavy metal gates, causing them to rattle and clang.

Waiting for them in the middle of the rodeo is pro barrelman Kyle Bode, 28.

Not many people would be willing to paint their faces, dress like a clown and take on a 1 . . .