Sikeston Jaycees gearing up for the rodeo

Monday, June 20, 2011

SIKESTON, Mo. -- With less than two months to go until the 59th annual Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo, it's crunch time for the club to get everything ready for the event, which begins Aug. 10.

"Our work parties are in full swing pretty much every day," said Cal Crader, general chairman of the 2011 events.

And there is a lot of work to do. Besides the general preparations for the four-day event, which attracts tens of thousands every year, they are also doing some other repairs and work around the grounds.

"We're replacing the bleachers in the cattle barons," Crader said. "And the parking lot for the sponsors building is being covered with asphalt, and our tent will sit on top of it as well."

The sponsors area will also have an expanded tent area with better air conditioning and access for the sponsors and patrons who use that area.

"We want to keep that great experience for our sponsors so they keep coming back," added co-chair Chris Deen.

Several other repairs are going on around the grounds, including new pens under the scoreboard.

Some drainage improvements and major repairs to the roads have also been done at the rodeo grounds, thanks in large part to help from the Missouri National Guard.

"We're fortunate that we were able to help out the National Guard and provide a place for them to fill sandbags and store equipment during the spring flooding," Crader said. However, all the heavy traffic during that time took a toll on the roads. "We're lucky that they made the repairs and improved it to better than it was when they came."

Ticket sales are strong for the four-day event, although seats are still open each night.

"We've had really good pre-sales," Crader said.

The scheduled entertainment acts for this year are The Xtreme Muzik Tour with Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy and Two Foot Fred on Aug. 10; Craig Morgan on Aug. 11; Pat Green on Aug. 12; and Rodney Atkins on Aug. 13.

"We really think Wednesday and Saturday nights will be sellouts, and Friday night is always a strong night," Crader said.

For more information, go to www.sikestonrodeo.com or call the ticket office at 1-800-455-BULL.

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