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OPINION: You’ll see something you’ve never seen before at the rodeo

by Graham Thomas | June 15, 2022 at 5:20 a.m.

What are you doing Thursday, Friday and Saturday night of this week?

If the answer is "not much, just sitting at the house and trying to stay cool" then I have a suggestion for you.

The 64th annual Siloam Springs Rodeo returns this week at the Siloam Springs Rodeo Grounds.

If you've never been, I'd encourage you to go just at least once. If you're like me, you're probably going to see something that you've never seen before.

And it's a lot of fun.

Preliminary weather forecasts look good for this year's rodeo -- sunny, dry and warm. Yes, temperatures will be warm, but the bulk of the events happen after 7:30 p.m. each night, and the hot conditions start cooling down to a more tolerable feeling.

But hey, it's summer time and it's going to be hot, whether you're at a baseball game, going swimming or going to the rodeo.

According to Siloam Springs Rodeo and Club board member Karen Davis, there have been some more improvements to the rodeo grounds for fans to enjoy.

One that will be very noticeable is the giant screen on the north side, which will feature instant replay, leader boards and other things.

The screen will be visible from anywhere in the bleachers.

There's also a new fence inside the arena. This is all in addition to the work the club has already done with a new press box, bucking chutes, calf chutes and new pins.

OK, that's some of the new features at the Siloam Springs Rodeo Grounds.

There will be 380 contestants competing each night, and the Riding Club has $20,000 of added money to the events. That translates to $1,500 per event and $3,000 for team events.

There are no easy wins out there for the contestants either. You've got one shot to make the most and try to leave the event with a paycheck.

Also keep in mind this year, there are serious rising costs of fuel, and these competitors and attendees of the rodeo often bring their own horse. It's not cheap to drive these big trucks with trailers hooked on, even with gas prices at a somewhat normal level.

I went to two of the nights at the 2021 rodeo last summer.

The first night was fun because I brought my daughter with me, her first time to go to a rodeo.

The third night on Saturday was the biggest crowd I had ever seen at the event in more than 10 years of covering it. The place was absolutely packed and a great crowd led to a great atmosphere.

I'm hopeful there will be three nights of a packed house this week.

So go on out there and see what you can see. You'll be glad that you did.

-- Graham Thomas is the managing editor for the Herald-Leader. He can be reached at [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Print Headline: You’ll see something you’ve never seen before

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