One of the projects I have worked on is the Rodeo of the Ozarks in Springdale, Ark. I have been on the board since 1976 and I am the senior member in time served. This year the rodeo is to be held on July 2-5, in Springdale. We kick things off at 7:30 p.m., each evening and if you ride your horse in the grand entry they still give you a free ticket. The parades are at 3 p.m., on June 2, and 10 a.m. on June 5.
But before the rodeo starts you can watch youngsters ride sheep every evening. Three to 6-year-olds really have a big time. Crowds roar as some little rider rides wearing a helmet and holding a rope from around the sheep. The top finalists ride in the middle of the rodeo and on the final night we pick a big winner who gets a trophy taller than them.
For the past six years we have been listed as one of the top five rodeos in the U.S., that isn’t bad considering there’s over 800 rodeos today in the PRCA. Fourth of July is the busiest time of the year for rodeos. The cowboys have voted our stock contractor, Stacy Smith, the best for five years. His stock buck hard and is among the toughest to ride in the business. The announcer Boyd Polhiemist has announced many National Finals. This year funny man Lecille Harris is coming back – he is hilarious and Cody Sosbee will be there. He might dance with your date in the aisles between bucking horses. There’s no telling. But it will be four full nights of real rodeo competition and a fun time.
We will have a kid’s petting zoo before the rodeo in the concession area plus, free pony rides before things get under way so, come early.
This is the 70th annual rodeo, which started at the end of the World War II. Men were coming home from war so many folks were working off in California and Wichita, Kan., in defense plants. They wanted to come home and so the rodeo became the homecoming affair. I have talked to many people who found old friends they had not seen in years at the rodeo.
But that is not our only business at the Rodeo. We built the National Guard building and housed the Springdale Chamber for years in the old building. We built the park on the creek behind the Odd Fellows Hall and have completed many more projects in the community. Plus, a dozen ag students attend college on our scholarships we give each year; we sponsor the Christmas Parade each year; we have egg rolls for kids at Easter; our demolition derbies are well attended in the fall and spring; we host big truck events, high school rodeos, play days for kids and many more events you can bring your kids to.
We are making plans to put a roof over the stadium. Those are ambitious plans but they can be done and further the events and concerts. Personally, I’d like us to have a facility like the fairgrounds at Oklahoma City, Okla., and host lots of other horse events. Make us a capital for them right here. Anyone can tell you tourist dollars help communities grow.
See you at the up and coming rodeo. God bless you, your family and America, Dusty Richards


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here