For a number of years, this first week of June is when the rodeo is held in Nevada sponsored by the Vernon County Youth Fair Board. Once again this traditional event will be held this week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, which is the 17th year for the fair board to be sponsoring the rodeo. As a result both professional and amateur cowboys and cowgirls are and will be arriving in Nevada.
The fair board each year puts in a great amount of effort in the planning, preparation and handling of the rodeo. This is a popular sporting event. It is often surprising to learn how far some of the fans come to watch the annual event.
Tommy Wait, president of the fair board, said that it is unusual for a rodeo to be held for three nights. Most are held only two nights. As result, Thursday night is usually the biggest nights as the participants can be involved on Thursday night and go on to another rodeo on Friday and Saturday night. Still, usually Friday night is the night that is the biggest for the concession stand.
The term might get a little confusing as it often is referred to as the youth fair rodeo. In reality it is not a part of the youth fair. True it is sponsored by the youth fair board and is a rodeo held at Nevada. There will be another rodeo held during the youth fair and that will be a Little Britches Rodeo held for the youth as participants.
It takes a great amount of money to hold the youth fair which involves a great number of youth in the county and is not only a fun event, but also an educational event. For many it is the highlight of the year. All of the proceeds from the rodeo will go towards the youth fair. It goes into the general fund and is not for any one purpose. A major amount of it will go toward premiums, which are paid out to the participants. This helps them to recover part of their cost for exhibiting.
This rodeo is not just a rodeo, but is a sanctioned rodeo by two different organizations, ACRA and MRCA. This means that the rodeo has to be conducted according to their rules and the participants will gain points which will help them toward accumulating their total points for the year. This means also that there is a good quality rodeo being held right here in Vernon County. It is something that the entire community cand be proud of and is in need of supporting this annual event.
Tommy, as well as many others, is in hope of good weather for the three days. The president of the Vernon County Youth Fair also hope people will come out to support the fair. In addition to raising funds it also is an entertainment event in Vernon County. While there will be people traveling here from a distance, local people do not have to travel a distance and the proceeds go to the fair.
This is the second year for Barnes and Sons to be the contractor for the rodeo; they furnish the livestock and put on the rodeo. They are out of Tahlequah, Okla.
Jim and Vicky Irwin are the chairpersons for the rodeo committee. Jim described the event as they usually do well. Each year there are requirements made to the facilities. This year a group of students at the high school received a grant and replaced some of the boards on the bleachers and did some painting and cleaning it up. The board also worked a couple of nights out there.
The facilities are good and that is because that over the years the fair board has done a great amount of work to improve the facilities. Along with the other parts of the fairgrounds the rodeo facilities are good. Jim said that the crows nest is in need of repairs. That is the area where the announcer sits and overlooks the rodeo arena and others working to keep records.
When I was a kid, the place to go to a rodeo was in the Rich Hill area at the Miller Ranch. Each year they put on a good rodeo. Mark Miller's parents were the family that had the ranch.
In the '60s the Jaycees sponsored the rodeo where it is now held. They put forth a great amount of effort in turning the horse show arena into a rodeo facility.
The event was popular and the Jaycees did a great job of putting on the rodeo for several years. Then it died out and there was not any sanction rodeo for several years, until the fair board picked up the effort and has provided the community with a rodeo.
There are a number of things that goes on during the rodeo which includes the clowns and the opening ceremony.
A rodeo features a number of events including the steer wrestling, bull riding, team roping, barrel races and other events.
A rodeo would not be a rodeo without the queen and princess candidates. These candidates get out and sell tickets and promote the rodeo. Vicky shared the names of the candidates as Kristin Dilly, Kelsey Hancock and Tiffany Edwards for queen and Natalie Wolfe, Hanna Bates, Kianna Logan and Beca Raper for princess.
Nevada Lions Club has the concession stand at the rodeo. This is the major fundraising event of the year for the club. A large amount of the proceeds is donated each year to the youth fair. The major effort for the use of the funds is sight conservation.