Big changes for Rattlesnake Rodeo?

Published 1:34 am Friday, October 14, 2016

There could be big changes to the Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo for the 2017 rodeo.

Rodeo Coordinator Don Childre said no date has been set yet because organizers are awaiting the administration change set to take place Nov. 7.

Easton Corbin performs at a previous Rodeo.

Easton Corbin performs at a previous Rodeo.

Childre said he’s talked to mayor-elect Becky Bracke about the changes and will give her time to get settled in her new role before asking her to OK them, but that he has her support.

Childre said the goal is to change the rodeo to a Saturday event.

“The reasoning behind it is we can’t draw decent enough crowds on Friday night to pay for decent entertainers on Friday,” he said. “The committee has talked about going back to just a Saturday event and upping the entertainers.”

Changing the date of the rodeo is also among the discussion items.

Four of the last five rodeos have been affected by rain.

“We have gone through various incarnations throughout the years,” he said. “We used to do it in the first of March and people knew that was when the rodeo was. We had lots of repeat people. The weather was iffy, so we moved it. I’ve seen everything from a tornado over the stadium to snow and rain.”

Not only do organizers have to contend with the bipolar weather, they also have to consider a fluid Easter holiday and that the country music awards are during that time, which greatly cuts down on the number of good artists that can be booked.

“We are working on booking entertainment now,” he said.

Childre said they would revamp the whole rodeo.

“We will make changes to the vendors and arts and crafts and try to get some real arts and crafts vendors,” he said.

Additionally, Childre said the goal is to separate the Christian concert from the rodeo.

“We want to make the Christian part of it a separate event. Redneck country music and rattlesnakes doesn’t really go with it.”

Childre said making the Christian concert a separate event will give more large events for the city.