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Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014

It's rodeo countdown

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

(Photo)
Sikeston Jaycees Craig Cox and Gary Yant build a new feeder for the cattle.
SIKESTON -- Cowboys and cowgirls aren't the only ones racing the clock for the 54th Annual Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo, Aug. 9-14.

The Jaycees and Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce are, too, working to be sure that everything goes perfectly the week of rodeo.

"The closer it gets the more we're out there," said Chris Harper, general chairman for the rodeo. "I'm pretty sure it's going to be a seven-day-a-week deal."

Right now, the Jaycees are working two evenings a week and Saturdays to prepare the grounds, cleaning and getting everything in order.

Concession stands and other buildings are being cleaned and maintained, and workers are mowing, weedeating and spraying the grounds, Harper said.

The SACC, which is answering tourists questions, plus sponsoring a Rodeo Run and involved in the "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" campaign is hectic, too.

"It's so busy we have multiple lines ringing at the same time," said Missy Marshall, SACC executive director. "We're working to make sure everything goes smoothly and still trying to do our day-to-day tasks."

The "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" campaign, which raises money for the American Cancer Society, is beginning to garner attention. "We're starting to get a good response out of it," said Nathan Hawkins, co-chairman of the rodeo.

One dollar from each ticket sold for Thursday night's performance will be donated to help fight breast cancer. "We're hoping there is a good turnout," Hawkins said, adding a check will be presented to the ACS that night. "The more tickets we sell, the more money the ACS gets."

People can also support the cause by purchasing T-shirts and other merchandise. T-shirt sales are brisk, Marshall said. Few shirts remain for sale at the Chamber, so orders are being taken until 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Other "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" merchandise available includes hats, wristbands, blinking buttons in the shape of the pink ribbons and cooler cups, which Marshall said have been "really popular."

Merchandise is available at the Chamber office, or may be purchased any night of the rodeo, including slack on Monday and Tuesday.

Raffle tickets, for an assortment of prizes valued at over $3,000, are also being sold to benefit the ACS, Harper said. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber office, rodeo ticket office or from any Jaycee. The winner will be drawn during Thursday night's performance.

Team roping will be featured for the first time this year. "It will be a big event that's going to be added to rodeo," Harper said. The event has been in the works for several years, and was recently added as a Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association event.

It features two cowboys -- a head and a healer -- who capture a loose steer. The head will catch and turn around the animal, while the healer ropes the back legs for time, Harper explained.

This year's rodeo will offer an additional night of slack, the timed events performances that can't be fit into the main event, this year. "We've got a lot more people than we can fit into the main performance," Hawkins said.

Slack will begin at 6 p.m. Aug. 7 and 8. Admission is free, and spectators will get to watch team roping and barrel racing on Monday and calf roping and steer wrestling on Tuesday. Concessions and other novelties will be available, Harper said.

Hawkins said participants draw themselves to run in slack versus the main rodeo. "A lot of the big name cowboys would prefer to run in slack," he said. "They might have to go to another rodeo that weekend."

The Skoalboard will be coming back to the rodeo this year. "A lot of people liked the live feed and the instant replay," Harper said.

Ticket sales are going "really well," Harper added. No performances have been sold out yet, but tickets are almost gone for the Wednesday and Saturday night performances.

Rodeo entertainment includes: Trace Atkins on Aug. 9, Terri Clark on Aug. 10, Craig Morgan on Aug. 11 and Keith Anderson on Aug. 12.

Tickets are still available for all appearances. For more information or to purchase them, contact the Jaycee Rodeo Ticket Office at (573) 471-7196 or visit the Web site at www.sikestonrodeo.com.