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home : local news : local news

8/27/2013 2:16:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Palestine Labor Day celebration to include three nights of rodeo action
PALESTINE - The Palestine Chamber of Commerce is bringing full rodeo back to the Pioneer Arena this Labor Day weekend.

The Pioneer City Rodeo began in 1966 and continued to be a success through the 1990s and early 2000s, but in the mid 2000s the number of rodeo participants began to decline and the chamber members began looking at options to increase participation and spectators.

In 2008, the chamber decided to sponsor the first Bull Bash on the Wabash, an all-bull riding event on Friday night, with full rodeo on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The bull riding was a big success, but the number of Professional Cowboy Rodeo Association participants dwindled to only a few per event.

In 2009, it was decided to feature two full nights of bull riding on Saturday and Sunday, with an extreme motorcycle show Friday night.

Bull Bash chairman Jim Clark said overall attendance was up in 2010, but ticket attendance at events like the motocross extreme bike show and rodeo weren't as high as they had been, partly because of the economy.

The 2011 attendance continued to dwindle, and many longtime rodeo fans who made the Palestine Labor Day celebration a family weekend, said they were not as interested in attending the all-bull riding event. The drought of 2012 continued to hamper attendance and helped chamber members with the decision to make another change.

The rodeo will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, with the usual activities being held over the holiday weekend. Announcer Mike Mathis is scheduled to return, as is rodeo clown Rudy Burns. Deckard also said WPRA barrel racing will also be featured. Trick rider Jerry Allen Olson is also scheduled to perform.

Here is a full schedule of the weekend's events:

Thursday, Aug. 29

The carnival opens for four big nights at Leaverton Park.

Friday, Aug. 30

Arts, crafts and collectibles vendors will open their booths at 9 a.m. in Leaverton Park.

The first performance of the PRCA Rodeo at 7 p.m. at the Pioneer City Rodeo Arena.

After each show there will be a DJ in the Coors Light Beer Tent, located just outside the arena.

(See Tuesday's Daily Record print edition for schedule)


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