That Famous Preston Night Rodeo slated for this week end has been voted the best rodeo in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Wilderness Circuit for the last several years.
PRESTON – The 84th annual celebration of That Famous Preston Night Rodeo begins July 29 and runs through July 31.
COVID put the brakes on the rodeo last year. This year they have added more seating and still expect to sell out all three nights.
Preston’s rodeo started in 1934 and was only stopped for one year during WWII and last year due to COVID.
“The tickets were printed wrong this year,” said Rodeo Committee member Sheryl Kimball. “The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. and the grand entry for the rodeo begins at 8:15 p.m. and the first shoot will open at 8:30 p.m.”
This is Preston’s biggest event of the year: three full days of horses, ropes, barrels, and bulls. Year after year there are loads of action, entertainment, carnival rides and sidewalk sales for visitors to enjoy.
“We usually sell 5,500 tickets per night. This year with the new seating we are selling 6,400 per night,” she said. “This year we have 410 of the top cowboys in the country coming to our rodeo. That’s most we have ever had.”
Benson Park will be lined with vendors peddling food and crafts. There will be some of the best local entertainers the county has to offer. The nightly parade generally highlights local groups and businesses and some of the area’s best horses.
“The pre-rodeo entertainment will be 16 riders carrying American flags,” she said. “People will want to be in their seats at 8:15 p.m. to see it.”
Locals refer to it as the million-dollar weekend for Preston. With thousands of people attending the rodeo and festivities each day, plus all the cowboys in town to competing for nearly $100,000 in prize money, the financial impact to the town adds up quickly.
“Slack is going to kill us this year, we have so many competing Saturday,” Kimball said. “We are going to have to get more volunteers.”
The slack starts at 7 a.m. on Friday, July 30 and is all free to the public. People will get a good look at 31 steer wrestlers, 19 team ropers, 42 breakaway ropers, 43 tie down ropers and 36 barrel racers on Friday.
More folks return to Preston during rodeo weekend than any other event, even Christmas. People schedule family and class reunions at rodeo time because they know people are going to be in town.
The rodeo has been voted the best rodeo in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Wilderness Circuit for the last six years.
The rodeo attracts the best cowboys in the country because they like the stock and the Preston crowd. The crowd is always loud, enthusiastic and they get involved.
Women’s breakaway roping is back. The event is comparable to men’s tie-down roping, except the cowgirls are not required to.
This year’s bull fighter and clown is the best they could find. J.J. Harrison will entertain the crowd and make sure the cowboys are safe from bulls and broncs.
Harrison has been the PRCA clown at National Finals Rodeo for the last couple of years.
This year’s announcer is Andy Seilor. He has been at That Famous Preston Night Rodeo before, and he is not only a crowd pleaser bur he has earned a number of professional awards for his announcing ability.
The biggest reason for the success of the rodeo is the hundreds of local volunteers that work hard to ensure everything goes smoothly.
There are limited tickets still available for all three nights of the rodeo.