TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Thousands arrived in Claremore, eager to take part in the 77th Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo.
This year brings new events, bigger crowds, and economic revenue for the city.
“Contestants come from all over the United States,” said, Tanya Andrews, treasurer for the rodeo and director of Visit Claremore. “Visitors come from all over the United States. Last year, we had 18 states that spectators came from and four foreign countries. The contestants last year came from 39 different states.”
With visitors, comes revenue.
“They stay in the hotels, they eat at your restaurants, they shop, you know, they enjoy our attractions or museums, as well as coming out here to the rodeo for great evening entertainment,” said Andrews. “Last year, it was about $400,000 in visitor spending over the three days. This year, I would suspect half a million dollars.”
This year, they expect nearly 4,000 spectators and 800 contestants.
“Every year, they just keep getting a little better and then they always provide for the contestants well, and that's something that you really appreciate, you travel as much as we do,” said Riley Duvall, professional steer wrestler.
“In the last 10 years, we've been nominated eight times for Rodeo of the Year, we have won that six times,” said David Petty, rodeo chairman. “That being said, we stepped up into a new category. So, we were nominated for the first time in that medium size category last year, and I believe that we finished the year runner-up.”
This award-winning rodeo has a little something for everyone.
“If you like fast horses, we got that,” said John Harrison, rodeo clown and barrel man. “If you like the extreme side of it, we got the bull ride and the bronc ride and, of course, a timed event in which it comes down to the hands skills of truly being able to handle your hands and it's just one of them deals that, it's family entertainment.”
New this year, the rodeo is offering a complimentary shuttle from Claremore High School to the front gate of the rodeo.
“We're pretty much out of room with the growth that the rodeo has experienced over the last several years,” said Andrews. “And, so that's one way to alleviate traffic and parking. These folks can get on the bus. It's air conditioned. Let somebody else drive.”
Plus, there’s a new attraction.
“A little mini bull series,” said Petty. “So, we've got some youngsters and mini bulls. It’s a little walk-and-trot type thing.”
Gates open at 6 p.m. each day, spectators can buy a one-day ticket for $20. Petty says sponsors are offering discounted tickets online.
If you're unable to attend in person, there will be a livestream of the rodeo online.