STARKVILLE, Miss. – Rotary Rodeo organizers have many objectives when it comes to their event.
They want to entertain fans, produce a world-class competition and raise money for local causes in the area. With the help of Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo, they will get that chance during the event, set for 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, and Saturday, Feb. 11, at MS Horse Park in Starkville.
“You’re not going to go anywhere else around here and see this caliber of contestants and this caliber of stock” said Bricklee Miller, an organizer with the Rotary Rodeo. “It’s going to make for an exciting rodeo.
“This is the Rotary Club’s largest fundraiser, and the proceeds we get from this stay right here in this community.”
That is the most important part of the event. Adults can purchase tickets for $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Children 12 and younger can get in for free Friday and for just $5 Saturday.
“This is a family-friendly event,” Miller said. “In addition, on Saturday night from 5 to 6:30 (p.m.) on the arena floor, we will have pony rides and a petting zoo. It gives children opportunities a lot of them don’t get to do.”
Being community-minded is a big part of the success for the Rotary Rodeo.
“Besides the fact that these athletes are getting a chance to work at their sport, any revenues from this go back to help the community,” said Briar Jones, president of the Starkville Rotary Club. “We are able to contribute to 22 local causes and also youth activities, including a dictionary project that we do in Starkville to make sure all third-graders in the county receive dictionaries.”
Supporting local causes is a longstanding tradition for the civic organization, but the rodeo goes beyond that. It will feature hundreds of the top players in the game, and many will be matched with the animal athletes from the Dallas-based Carr firm, which has five nominations for Stock Contractor of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
Over the last four years, no other livestock firm has had more animals selected to perform at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s premier championship.
“I know I’m going to have a top performance and that we’re going to have top stock that’s been at the National Finals Rodeo,” Miller said. “That’s going to give the contestants the best opportunity to have high-marked rides in the riding events and fast times in the timed events. That helps make it a fun event for the fans.”
Fun is the name of the game, and that includes clown Gizmo McCracken, who has multiple nominations for PRCA Comedy Act of the Year.
It’s the perfect fit for the Rotary Rodeo.