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Crossett Riding Club officials said they are expecting to have a historic number of contestants show up for the 72nd annual CRC PRCA Rodeo.

“Crossett, Arkansas is going to see some of the biggest names in rodeo than its ever seen,” CRC President Rob Adkins said. “It’s going to be beyond huge.”

Contestants typically have a list of locations to choose from when deciding where to enter during rodeo season, but because Crossett is one of the few rodeos that decided to proceed with a June date following this spring’s shutdowns, it’s on the short list of options that cowboys and cowgirls have.

Marty O’Fallon with the CRC said that this year the PRCA billed them for an extra judge because they anticipate the rodeo will have approximately 700 contestants — and potentially more.

The expected number of contestants is more than double what the Crossett Rodeo saw last May and triple what it had been averaging in years before.

O’Fallon said the rodeo — which was traditionally in August since it was founded — was moved to May in 2019 to accommodate a changing rodeo calendar.

During the 2018 rodeo, which was the last one held in August, Crossett only had around 170 contestants. When they moved the rodeo to May in 2019 that number nearly doubled, Adkins said.

“It’s going to double again probably even triple,” Adkins said. “So this is going to be the biggest rodeo Crossett has ever seen.”

He also said the rodeo will have extra days for slack this year in addition to the Thursday morning slack events. 

“This will give some of our older people a chance to come out and watch events early in the morning without having to fight the crowds,” Adkins said.

Though the list of contestants will be the best Crosestt has ever seen, Adkins said hosting the rodeo during the pandemic has created its own challenges. They are still working on what they are required to do to meet the event guidelines provided by the CDC. 

Adkins said one change he knows of for sure will be the calf scramble. They won’t be able to allow children to roam the arena in groups chasing calves, so instead they will draw give-away prizes to the children who register each night.

 Several things will remain the same. Scott Grover will return as the announcer and Pete Carr is the stock contractor. The Trixie Chicks will be this year’s specialty act and the clown will be Ronald Burton.

Adkins said the grand entry will still run just as it always has, with the only difference being that those who elect to ride in the grand entry will receive free admission into the rodeo. In previous years, the grand entry has earned a discounted entry fee. This year each horse will equal one free ticket.

The parade is still planned for June 24, but Adkins said it may look a little different this year. More details about the rodeo parade, pageant and the event itself will be released next week.

Rodeo T-shirts are on sale now at Brooks 40 printing and will be sold nightly at the rodeo. Additionally, tickets can be purchased at the Crossett Economic Development building. Those who purchase tickets early will get the option of tickets for all four nights for the price of three.

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