Of course, the most anxiously awaited news announced by the Jaycees at today's Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce meeting was this year's lineup of entertainers. Scheduled for Aug. 9 is Trace Adkins followed on Aug. 10 by Terri Clark. Rising star Craig Morgan will be featured on Aug. 11 with Keith Anderson wrapping up the rodeo on Aug. 12.
But, it isn't just about singers. This year's rodeo will offer fans more to see and the chance to join the Jaycees in helping a worthy cause.
Promising another top-notch event, Rodeo Chairman Chris Harper noted this year's rodeo will feature a new event, team roping. "We think this will pull in several more cowboys along with local cowboys," he said.
The opportunity to catch some of the cowboys and cowgirls performing prior to actual rodeo free of charge is expanding also. Harper explained a second night of "slack," where those contestants who don't draw a slot to compete during one of the four-nights of rodeo will ride, rope and wrestle for honors.
"This went over well last year," Harper said. "We had a lot of people come out for that."
According to Harper, the 2006 rodeo will add Corey Walls, a leading rodeo clown, who helps protect the cowboys. He will join Dustin Brewer and Jerry Norton and of course, one of the Jaycees' favorite clowns, Rick "the Agin' Cagin'" Young.
The Jaycees emphasized the money raised from the Rodeo each year goes back to the community to aid a variety of causes, yet this year's event is going one step further.
Chris Dean, novelty chairman, displayed a pink shirt and announced even cowboys wear pink, at least when it is for a good cause - breast cancer awareness.
"We thought we should do something, too," he said, adding that the rodeo novelty stands will also sell bracelets to benefit the Cancer Society.
Even the Jaycees will have a special pink shirt embroidered with the words "tough enough to wear pink," for that evening. "Everybody is really getting on board - regardless of whether we like pink or not we are going to support the cause," Dean said.
The entertainers were introduced in a special presentation featuring their music.
Adkins' performance at the rodeo several years ago proved popular and with new songs earning air play, he was the right man to open the rodeo, said Scott Balcer, entertainment co-chairman. "Trace has one of the industry's highest-energy shows," he said.
Both his Comin' On Strong CD and Trace Adkins Video Hits are certified platinum, and his Greatest Hits Collection, Volume I, which entered the charts at No. 1, is on the verge. His CD Chrome has also gone gold.
Also back but this time looking for clear skies, Clark last performed at the rodeo in 1997 when crowds waited through the rain to hear her perform. "She is a favorite of country music fans because she is equally accomplished as a singer and a guitar player," Balcer said. "And even though she has lots of hits to her credit, she still is putting out great new material."
Clark, who already has three platinum albums from her years in the music business, has several songs which will be released this summer from her newest album, Life Goes On, he added.
Morgan, who recently released his third album, On My Kind of Livin, uses his music to tell the stories of the small, meaningful things in everyday lives.
Recounting his songs, such as "Lotta man (In That Little Boy)" and "Rain for the Roses," Tim Jaynes, who is co-chairing the entertainment with Balcer, said these are stories country music fans relate to in their own lives. "He sings about everyday America," said Jaynes.
Although Anderson may be upcoming on the entertainment circuit, his music has been heard for years.
In 2002, Anderson won the 10th annual Jim Beam Country Band Search held at the Wildhorse Saloon. That same year, Garth Brooks and George Jones recorded a hit duet of "Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You In?)," which Anderson wrote with Kent Blazy, George Ducas, Amanda Williams and Kim Williams. The duet received Grammy, CMA and ACM nominations. In 2004, Gretchen Wilson included Anderson's composition "The Bed" on her debut album, Here for The Party, co-written by Vicky McGehee and Big & Rich's John Rich.
"Keith is one of those young country entertainers that is making a mark for himself. We think fans will really enjoy his show," said Jaynes.
The box office at the Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo grounds will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday for fans to purchase tickets. Also tickets can be purchased online at www.sikestonrodeo.com.