Traffic will be congested and you'll see ample new faces in town this week. The rodeo has arrived and with it, the opportunity to display some southern hospitality to the thousands of visitors this week.
This community can never fully thank the Sikeston Jaycees for staging the Bootheel Rodeo each year. It brings massive favorable attention to Sikeston, it pours substantial amounts of money into the local cash registers and perhaps more importantly, the proceeds from the rodeo benefit literally thousands of Sikeston residents throughout the year. You can't find a better combination than that.
Many communities have one major event each year designed to bring visitors to their community. Whether it's the District Fair in Cape Girardeau or the Dogwood-Azalea Festival in Charleston, small town America is proud to shine the spotlight on their communities. The Bootheel Rodeo is our chance to display that pride.
Having worked at the rodeo in the past, I fully appreciate and understand the hard work and dedication it takes to stage this massive event. The truth is it would be hard to calculate the manhours that precede the event itself. The Jaycees have labored for months on every detail of the rodeo. And they devote those hours because of their commitment to this community and to the Jaycee organization.
What's so impressive about the rodeo is that we now have third generation Jaycees working side-by-side on this annual event. That alone makes this event special. And it gives the community itself an opportunity to spread the hospitality that will make visitors want to return. We can put out the welcome mat for thousands of visitors who will spend their time and money here. You can't buy that attention.
What I most appreciate about the rodeo however is the amount of money that is poured back into the community each year by the Jaycees. Just pay attention to the organizations and individuals who receive financial assistance, all because the Jaycees worked tirelessly to stage this weeklong party. When visitors spend their money at the rodeo, those funds eventually make their way into the community and help thousands of area residents throughout the year.
Other area events generate attention for their community. But the rodeo not only attracts attention, it also provides benefits for those in need. That is the ideal combination.
Smile when you see a Jaycee dressed in cowboy attire this week. But recognize that this week is just the culmination of weeks and months of hard work. The rodeo may come and go this week but the benefits to Sikeston will linger throughout the year.