This has been the right kind of transition for the local organizers, who had to abruptly cancel the event just 12 months ago when the COVID-19 global pandemic set the world on edge. Life is beginning to feel more normal, which is why Scott is excited for this year’s rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 25-Saturday, March 27, at the Nacogdoches County Exposition and Civic Center.
“We’re a small town, and we have that hometown feeling,” said Scott, the executive director of the expo and civic center. “When you go to big rodeos, you might be in the nosebleed sections, but here you’re right on top of the action in the arena. It makes it feel more like you’re part of the rodeo.
“We still have a big feel. We’re bringing in the big names, and it’s ProRodeo action. People will see everything you can see at the big rodeos but at a smaller scale.”
Part of that comes with the contract personnel that will work the rodeo. Andy Stewart is a regular nominee for PRCA Announcer of the Year and has called the action at the National Finals Rodeo. Pete Carr Pro Rodeo produces the event and has been nominated as Stock Contractor of the Year nearly a dozen times. Cody Sosebee is one of the top clowns and entertainers in the sport.
“Everybody that comes here is so good,” Scott said. “Andy’s voice is just incredible. He knows what needs to be done when it needs to be done. He knows how to put it all together so it looks and sounds good when it comes in the arena.
“We’ve had Cody here before, but it’s been several years ago. I’m excited to have him back.”
Friday’s performance will be directed to raise awareness for childhood cancer, while Saturday’s show will honor breast cancer awareness.
“A few years ago, Cowboys Who Care honored my granddaughter, who was battling cancer at the time, so we wanted to have our childhood cancer awareness this year,” Scott said. “It is amazing to be associated with a group like Cowboys Who Care.”
Some things have changed since COVID reared its ugly head a year ago. All tickets are sold online, and the complex will be held at 50 percent capacity to help allow for social distancing.
“We thought that since we had a plan in place that we’d stay at 50 percent,” She said. “We’ve offered online ticket sales before, but we decided to have all sales online to keep contact down. We’ve also had a year of doing more online, so it’s not uncommon.”
While the Carr bucking animals and production are inviting for ProRodeo’s top contestants, Scott and other organizers also upped the ante by increasing “added” money; local dollars are mixed with the contestants’ entry fees to make up the total purse.
“We increased the added money last year, but we didn’t have the rodeo,” Scott said. “We decided to keep it there. I’ve been wanting to increase that for some time, and I’m glad I was able to get it increased.”
While some rodeos have closed their doors again in 2021, the Nacogdoches Pro Rodeo and Steer Show is offering opportunities for contestants; that’s all the cowboys and cowgirls want.