Rodeo returns to Purcell on Friday and Saturday nights, ending a 30-year hiatus.
Rockin’ R Rodeo Company of Sulphur will arrive with the stock Friday afternoon in plenty of time for the horses and bulls to rest up and be their rankest best by evening.
McClain County Heart of Oklahoma Rodeo performances will start at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Thad Cox, event manager at the McClain County Expo Center, said the rodeo arena is ready with new bleachers, lights and fresh dirt to soften the falls of any riders who go off before the eight-second buzzer.
“It’s all good to go,” he said. “People need to come by and look. This (rodeo) is going to happen.”
The open rodeo has received financial support from several sponsors, including Patriot Ford, Thru Tubing, Sleep Inn and Suites, Mark Heitz Chevrolet and Krystal Spur Restaurant.
Adult admission to the rodeo is $10. Admission to the rodeo will be free for children 12 years and younger.
Saturday’s rodeo performance will be followed by a concert featuring the John Arnold Band and Sarah Getto.
There will be free activities, as well, in what Cox hopes will make Purcell a family entertainment destination in years to come.
The program includes the CYAP Annual Bash at 10 a.m. Saturday and Snowflakes in September, a craft show, that will be open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday in the Farm and Home Community Center at the fairgrounds.
Among kids’ activities under the CYAP Annual Bash umbrella will be donkey rides, free lunch, free ice cream and more.
The fairgrounds boasts plenty of free parking and a variety of foods provided by vendors there.
In addition to the fairground’s full-service concession, McClain County 4-H will be selling burgers and hot dogs, CYAP will have nachos, frito pies and soft drinks and the Purcell Round-Up Club will sell beverages.
Cox believes those events are a good complement for Loose Caboose, an antique and craft festival open in downtown Purcell from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
“I hope this helps both of us,” he said of the two venues. “This gives families a whole day in Purcell.
“You can spend the day downtown at the Loose Caboose and then come to the fairgrounds for a free meal, craft show, rodeo and concert.
“A family of four can have a day of entertainment and shopping, all for under $100.
“We encourage people to go to the Loose Caboose. We’re giving them an addiitonal option.”
There won’t be a rodeo parade through downtown. That’s in respect for the Loose Caboose organizers and vendors.
But, Cox said, it’s never been about just one event.
“It’s about a whole bunch of activities this Friday and Saturday.