Monday, July 30, 2018

Sallisaw's 75th Annual Lions Club Rodeo Kicks off Thursday

Cowboys and cowgirls from all around know that each year the Sallisaw Lions Club Rodeo will be a great one and this year it will be even more special. Celebrating 75 years of entertaining rodeo fans the Lions Club has great plans for their Diamond anniversary.

"We're looking forward to another great year," said Sallisaw Lions Club president and rodeo chairman Marley Abell. "The Sequoyah County Roundup Club started the rodeo in 1941 but we missed a couple of years because of war time."

The rodeo is sanctioned by the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) and the American Cowboys Rodeo Association (ACRA) and is also part of the Ram Rodeo Series.

The Hampton Rodeo Company of Springdale, Arkansas will provide stock for the rodeo.

The Sallisaw Rodeo draws over 5,000 people a year, and showcases the elite athletes in rodeo competition. Talented cowboys and cowgirls from throughout the country and from the local area will compete for thousands of dollars in prize money in several different events. Abell said that this year contestants will be competing for $11,000 in added money.

The events include:

*Bareback Bronc Riding
*Bull Riding
*Cowgirl's Barrel Racing
*Saddle Bronc Riding
*Steer Wrestling
*Team Roping
*Tie Down Roping
*Cowgirl Breakaway Roping

The rodeo kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday with a parade through downtown Sallisaw. Fan favorite mutton bustin' will be held each night at 6:30 p.m. with sign ups at 5:30 p.m. Nightly rodeo performances will kick off with the Grand Entry at 8 p.m.

Matt McGee will be returning as the announcer for the rodeo. McGee is a five-time IPRA Announcer of the Year. The Rodeo of the Ozarks Rounders drill team will also be performing nightly. Miss Rodeo USA Summer Weldon will also be on hand.

New to perform at the Sallisaw Rodeo is rodeo clown and specialty act Austin Stewart who has appeared on America's Got Talent. Myles Essick will be doing this year's bullfighting.

Cost for admission is $8 per adult and $5 for children 6-10 years of age. Children 5-and-under are free. "We like to keep the entry affordable so that people can come and bring their family. They don't even have to pay extra for the music entertainment," added Abell.

And this year's entertainment is worthy of a 75th anniversary. The Lions Club has great entertainment scheduled to perform on Friday and Saturday night at the after-rodeo dances.

Returning to perform on Friday night is local favorite, Crossroads. Made up of local musicians Crossroads has a loyal following and always draws a crowd.

On Saturday night Jason Boland and the Stragglers will take the stage. One of the most successful  Red Dirt Bands they got their start in Stillwater and also have local ties. 

"We had Jason Boland and the Stragglers here in 2000 but that was before they were really known outside of our area," said Abell. "We're having to get a bigger stage and lighting. We think it will be big."

Some other fun events you won't want to miss include the calf scramble, pony rides and always exciting wild-horse races.

KXMX News Staff

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