Fair board hopes to bolster rodeo participation
The Leavenworth County Fair board decided to stick with Skeet Davis with Six Crowns Rodeo Company for the 2007 fair rodeo.
Fair board president David Todd said the board had signed with Davis in the past and he has done a fine job, but the board had discussed pursuing other bids.
"You don't want to stay with the same contractor over and over again," Todd said. "You need to compete it every once and awhile."
After unsuccessful attempts to obtain other bids, the board signed an $11,000 contract with Davis during last week's board meeting. Todd said the contract is $1,000 less than last year because board members decided to drop the novelty act.
In the past, the rodeo has fallen on the same date as larger rodeos in the Midwest, which Todd believes has contributed to the lower number of contestants. This year, the Leavenworth County Fair rodeo will be part of a series put on by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco in conjunction with the International Professional Rodeo Association. Todd said the cowboys will travel to each rodeo in the series to earn points and compete for prizes. He said this should increase the number of contestants.
The rodeo still will be on Thursday and Friday nights of fair week. Admission prices will be the same as last year -- $10 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 12 and no charge for children 6 and younger.
"We're going to do a one-year (contract) with an option," Todd said. "If everything goes well and the board is happy, we'll probably renew for an additional two years."
The board also agreed to host a youth rodeo on Tuesday night of fair week, however details about the event may not be finalized until May or June, he said.
"We've agreed that we're going to do it and we're still working out the details," he said.
The Leavenworth County Fairgrounds will most likely host another rodeo during Memorial Day weekend. Plans to allow the Shrine Rodeo to rent the fairgrounds were discussed last week. Todd said the Shriners approached the board about finding a new home for the rodeo because their previous location, the Wyandotte County Fairgrounds, has been torn down.
The Leavenworth County Fairgrounds is rented often, Todd said, but never for any event of this magnitude. While the details are not final, the Shrine Rodeo is looking at paying $7,000 to rent the fairgrounds and will take out a $1 million insurance policy. While Todd said he had hoped to finalize the contract last week, the Shriners were unable to attend the meeting.
"They have a draft contract in their hands, and I expect to hear from them at any time," he said.