70th annual Rotary Rodeo this weekend

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Cassville Rotary Club's 70th annual rodeo will be held at the Bill Hailey Arena at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16.

"This is one of the better rodeos in southwest Missouri," said Stan Kelley, Cassville Rotary Club Rodeo Committee chairman. "The stock producer is one of the top IPRA producers in the country."

Hampton Rodeo Co., of Springdale, Ark., has provided the quality rodeo stock for the Cassville event for a number of years.

"This year, we have a new event, ladies break-away roping," said Kelley. "The Rotarians have also done a lot of work to improve and enhance the rodeo grounds. We hope everyone will come out to the rodeo."

In addition to the cowgirl break-away roping event, the rodeo will offer bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling and cowgirl barrel racing.

A calf scramble will be held for children under the age of 10 each night. Attendees will also have the opportunity to enjoy performances by The Rounders Quadrill Team from northwest Arkansas.

"Be sure to visit the cook shack with its excellent menu of hamburgers, cheeseburgers and other refreshments available to enjoy throughout the rodeo," said Kelley. "Those who attend will also have the opportunity to enjoy the family-friendly fun atmosphere of the rodeo grounds."

Adults attending the rodeo event will be admitted for $8 per person, and children who are between the ages of 6 and 12 will be admitted for $4. Admission is free for children under the age of 6.

Rodeo tickets can be purchased in advance from any Cassville Rotary Club member and at many of the local banks. Individuals who purchase tickets in advance will receive a $2 discount on an adult ticket.

"We hope and appreciate all of the area residents who come out for the annual rodeo," said Kelley. "We hope everyone enjoys both Friday and Saturday nights."

The Cassville Rotary Rodeo began at a temporary site near the location where the Cassville Wildcat Football Stadium now stands. In the early days of the rodeo, the event was often held in late July or early August.

Within in a few years of its start, the rodeo was relocated to a permanent arena at the American Legion Grounds on Highway 112 in Cassville. Over 3,000 individuals often attended the rodeo events held at that location.

The rodeo moved to its current location on Rodeo Road on the north side of Cassville in 1971. The land was donated to the club by long-time Rotarian Bill Hailey. Members of the club donated $31,000 for the construction of the arena. The club also secured a $12,000 grant for the project.

Around four years after the arena was built, the facility officially became known as the Bill Hailey Arena. A banner sign was painted by Kenneth Corn and placed on the announcer's stand at the arena in honor of Hailey.

The Bill Hailey Arena is located off of Business 37 on Rodeo Road north of Cassville.

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