During Thursday's Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce meeting, the Jaycees announced the lineup will include Montgomery Gentry, Aug. 10; Dierks Bentley, Aug. 12; and Darryl Worley, Aug. 13. The recent death of singer Chris LeDoux, who was slated as the Aug. 11 entertainer, has left one date to be filled.
"Chris was big in the rodeo as a bareback bronc riding champion and after rodeo got into the music industry. He was perfect fit for our rodeo," Scott Balcer, entertainment chairman for the 53rd annual Jaycee Rodeo. "This was a loss for Chris' family, rodeo and the music industry."
Balcer explained the Jaycees are working to fill the date and had hoped to be able to announce the replacement as soon as today. "We have made a bid for another great entertainer. Now we are keeping our fingers crossed," he said.
And, Balcer continued, even with the one unknown, the lineup for this year's rodeo should please Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo fans.
Returning to Sikeston to perform at the rodeo, Montgomery Gentry now has four albums to their credit and continues to produce hit after hit. Balcer predicted the duo of Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry would draw a sell-
out crowd on Wednesday night.
Described as "a big up-and-comer," Bentley's show on Friday night will be energetic and a crowd-pleaser, the entertainment chairman said. "He has a new album coming out that is getting a lot of airplay," Balcer added.
Also music fans are familiar with Worley's music which includes romantic ballads like "Awful Beautiful Life," and patriotic songs such as "Wake Up America."
General Chairman Mike Conway noted the 2005 rodeo will kick off with the Rodeo Parade on Aug. 6 and will include family activities that day at the Rodeo grounds. The Rodeo will again feature livestock provided by contractor Del Hall and the return of favorite rodeo clown Rick "The Ragin Cagin" Young.
One change will enable the public to see even more action by the cowboys and cowgirls. Conway explained each year there are too many contestants competing for prizes than can perform during the four nights of Rodeo so some must compete during the "slack."
"In the past we would have run the slack after the rodeos on Wednesday and Thursday but we have been fortunate to get approval from the Pro Rodeo Association to move it to Tuesday," he explained. On Aug. 9 beginning at 6 p.m. the public can get their first view of the rodeo action at no charge.
Also new to this year's Rodeo will be an LED board which will provide instant replays, live feeds and lots of information, Conway said.
Even the Jaycee's Rodeo Web site has a new look. Rodeo fans can now purchase tickets online at www.sikestonrodeo.com.
Conway and Balcer agreed fans should purchase tickets early.
"We have a good, strong lineup this year," said Balcer. "So far presales are going good so I would recommend people order tickets early to get the best seats."
Tickets can be ordered online or at the ticket office at the Rodeo Grounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The telephone number for the ticket office is 1-800-455-2855.