Archive for Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tonganoxie new home for rodeo

January 24, 2007

A second rodeo will be coming to the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.

Fair board officials, as well as a representative from Abdallah Shrine Rodeo, formally agreed Monday to bring the group's rodeo to Tonganoxie.

The rodeo, which will be held Memorial Day weekend, is a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association sanctioned event. This year, festivities will be held May 24-26.

David Todd, fair board president, said the contract calls for the Shriners to pay the fair board $7,000 with an annual option for the same amount in 2008 and 2009. The annual option will continue for 2010 and 2011, with rent set at $7,500 each of those years.

Todd said he was excited about the opportunity the rodeo should bring to the area.

"This is the kind of event that gets media attention," Todd said. "We don't have enough positive public relations. I see this as a positive thing for the city and the county."

The Abdallah Shrine Rodeo will enter its 48th season when festivities get under way this May in Tonganoxie. The event originated at the Wyandotte County Fairgrounds nearly a half-century ago. The annual activity was held for 23 years in Wyandotte County before moving to Kemper Arena for the next 20. The rodeo moved back to the Wyandotte County Fairgrounds where it was held the last four years.

After last year's show, though, organizers needed to find a new venue. The fairgrounds have been in limbo since the United Government of Wyandotte County sold more than 300 acres, which included the fairgrounds, to a group for development of a multimillion-dollar water park.

The fair board also will continue to hold a rodeo during the Leavenworth County Fair.

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