Pioneer Days has merchandise

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GUYMON, Okla. – Volunteers who produce the community’s biggest annual event are spreading their wings.

“We’re selling Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo merchandise for the first time in a long time,” said Ken Stonecipher, the rodeo committee’s chairman. “This is a chance for us to share the joy of our rodeo all year long, and we have some things people are really going to like.”

The sales are in anticipation of this year’s event, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5.

“We wanted a better way to promote our brand and to show pride in our brand,” said Brooke Kitting, the volunteer committee’s marketing director. “We thought this was a good way to engage with the community members that make Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo what it is.”’

The merchandise will be available at the rodeo’s annual fundraiser, the Dinner, Dance and Draw Down, which takes place at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at the Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena’s hospitality center. In addition, a merchandise trailer will be operating near the saloon toward the north end of the grandstands during each of the four performances.

“We have hoodies, T-shirts and quarter zips; three versions of trucker caps; and two youth-size options, a hoodie and a T-shirt,” Kitting said.

The merchandise is not only a way to help share the rodeo’s brand, it’s also a way to give back. The rodeo committee will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from the merchandise sales to a local charity.

“When we decided to do this, we wanted to make sure that this aspect of our rodeo would also have a charitable component,” Stonecipher said. “This year, because of all that’s been happening recently in our area, we wanted to make it to the Panhandle Wildfire Relief Fund.”

The endowment was established to assist farmers and ranchers that were affected when catastrophic wildfires spread across the Texas Panhandle, charring many acres and destroying homes, barns, livestock and fences.

The blazes, fueled by a dry landscape and accelerated by high winds that swept across the plains, scorched 1.1 million acres, according to news reports. Hundreds of miles of fences were also destroyed, and nearly 10,000 cattle died in an area that is recognized as one of the largest cattle-raising regions in the world.

“I don’t think there’s any better way to represent what our rodeo is all about than being able to give back to our neighbors that are in need,” Stonecipher said. “This is just a small way we can do that.”

For 92 years, the event has been a defining event for the community. World champions built their legacies through the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo, and that likely won’t change anytime soon.

“I know a lot of people from around here take pride in our rodeo,” Stonecipher said. “This is a way they can show it off.”


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