Pretty Prairie ready to saddle up for annual rodeo

KSN Digital Extra

RENO COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – While many events around Kansas are being canceled amid COVID-19, others like the 83rd annual Pretty Prairie Rodeo say its event will be happening this year.

Officials say they will be adding new hand sanitizer stands, hand out face masks, and will be installing signs reminding people of the health department’s guidelines.

“We have signs to hang up to remind people what to do and what good standards are frequent hand washing, using your hand sanitizer and so we have reminders that will be posted around,” said Julie Graber, Board of Directors Executive Secretary.

Graber says the Pretty Prairie Rodeo has only been canceled once, during World War II.

“It could have been difficult to think that this could have been the second year that could have happened, fortunately, that wasn’t the case,” said Graber.

The rodeo will continue to have its class-act entertainment, such as bull riding, rodeo clowns, and mutton busting.

“We’re going to have a full slate of contestants every single night and you’re going to see world champions and newcomers and it’s just going to be a great combination of people.”

According to Graber, this year they’ve had more than double the entries for its contestants. She says some of them even came from Canada and Australia.

“We actually have more cowboys this year and cowgirls than normal ’cause there are not many rodeos happening across the United States,” said Graber.

Rodeo officials say they continuously sought guidance from the county health department and county commissioners on how to keep the rodeo alive and keep everyone safe.

“Both groups have told us that because we are an outdoor event, that is different than an indoor event,” she added.

She says canceling the rodeo was talked about but ultimately decided to move forward because of the Pretty Prairie community.

“We’re a nonprofit organization and the money we make from this goes back into the community. A lot of it goes back into the school,” said Graber. “We just wanted to keep the tradition alive and support the community and give people an option to come out and do something fun. There’s a lot of people that are really missing doing things like this.”

She hopes everyone will follow the health department’s guidelines and enjoy themselves at the rodeo.

The four-day rodeo will start on Wednesday, July 14, and run through Saturday, July 18, 2020. For more information, click here.

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