UPDATED: Crossett Riding Club PRCA Rodeo kicks off Wednesday
Aug 9, 2017, 14:28

The 69th annual Crossett Riding Club PRCA Rodeo will fly out the chutes Aug. 9 and will run through Aug. 12 at Cap Gates Arena.

All rodeo events will start at 8 p.m. nightly. This year’s theme is “A Good Time in the Pines at the Sixty-Nine.”

Members of the Crossett Riding Club join Dawn Petty of Double Rafter D Enterprises Tuesday in installing the digital video scoreboard in advance of the riding club’s PRCA rodeo. The rodeo will be 8 p.m. nightly Wednesday through Saturday. For more about the rodeo, see the rodeo section inside this week’s paper. (VERSHAL HOGAN/News Observer)
“We’re a very small community, and this is probably the biggest event for this community,” said Marty O’Fallon, chairman of the volunteer committee that organizes the annual rodeo. “Everyone around here looks forward to it.

“This rodeo’s been going on for 69 years, and the weekend we do it always marks to the town the end of summer for our community. Everybody looks forward to that week because they have one big thing left before they go back to school.”

The festivities will start with a parade at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Line-up will be at 3 p.m. at the rodeo grounds.

When it rolls, the parade will travel west on Third Avenue before turning south on Beech Street. When it reaches Ninth Avenue, it will travel west until reaching Main Street, where it will turn north.

When the floats reach U.S. 82, they will travel eastbound until they reach Pine Street, and will roll south on Pine until they reach Third Avenue, where they will turn eastward and return to the arena.

First and second place prizes will be awarded to floats that enter the parade contest, and parade organizer Cherub Alford said the judges would be located at several places along the parade route instead of in a single location.
Riding clubs will be given trophies for first through fifth place, and will be judged on appearance.

When the contests at the arena open, Pete Carr Pro Rodeo will provide the stock from the rodeo events. Carr is a former bareback rider.

“They bring the best bucking stock in the industry,” O’Fallon said. “That helps draw the contestants. Our rodeo is on the biggest week of PRCA rodeo, and we still have the top names coming to Crossett.

“Over the past two or three years, we’ve averaged between 10 and 15 past world champions in our rodeo. That means a lot to us because they have three or for more large rodeos to enter and they still come here.”

The specialty act this year is rodeo clown Slim Garner, and riding club members said his act doesn’t require any knowledge of the rodeo to be enjoyed.

According to Garner’s Website, he has been a rodeo clown for 27 years, and he likes anything that is loud and can catch people’s attention.

“The riding club works hard to bring in the best specialty acts, and we’ve had some of the best in rodeo come right here to Crossett,” Riding Club member Tommy Strebeck said. “Come out to the rodeo, you’ll have a good time.”

In addition to the usual horse and bull-riding events, this year’s rodeo has added a calf-dressing contest each night. During the contest, participants catch a calf and dress it in human clothes.

The contestants each night will include representatives from the local riding clubs, first responders and local banks. The final night of the rodeo, the winners of the previous three nights will face off in a championship round.

-Ted Harbin contributed to this report.

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