BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Pull up you’re boots, put on your Stetson and strap in, the 72nd Annual Tri-State’s Rodeo kicks off this week with a full week of livestock, cowboys, music, food…and Boyd.
The longtime rodeo announcer, Boyd Polahamus is back again the C.E. “Eddie” Richards Arena beginning Wednesday night with the CINCH Chute-Out, the all-in, on-the-edge-of-your-seat competition, pitting 10 of the top cowboys and cowgirls in the nation in Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping and Women’s Barrel Racing.
Rodeo General Chairman Tony Johnson, who’s in his first year in the seat, said the CINCH event now is a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association sanctioned event with points going toward the PRCA’s National Rodeo Finals point standings.
“It’s still an invitation only and we start at No. 1 and go down. But it used to be eight contestants per event, but this year we’re going ten and then will narrow down to the top 3,” Johnson said.
“Thursday night is our military night. Any active or retired member of of the military get a free ticket. I think we’ve been doing that for about three years,” Johnson said. “This is a great thing, we get a lot of people that are able to take advantage of that.”
Johnson said he took a bit more conservative approach this year as far as infrastructure improvement because of last year’s rain soaked events. One blessing was the introduction of additional shuttling.
“We are going to do a lot of shuttling this year. Last year really wasn’t a choice and poeple took advantage of that mainliy because they had to, but we’ve had a lot of requests this year. THis will be the first year we’ve done it every night.
Wednesday and Thursday on the west end Quality Inn and Eagles Parking lot and on the east end the former CarSmart lot and Connection Bank. Friday and Saturday, the Baxter Sports Complex and the North Lee County Office lot will be added.
Wednesday and Thursday shuttles will run 5 p.m. to midnight and then until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. SEIBUS, Central Lee schools and Fort Madison schools have partnered with the Rodeo to provide the services. Shuttle buses will drop off at the ticket office again this year.
The entertainment lineup I’ve been real happy with. We’ve had a lot of great feedback on social media. We have a really good line up with Michael Ray, Tracey Lawrence has been around and then Justin Moore,” he said.
The committee also moved to two bands in the Party Pavillion with NATU Band Wednesday and Thursday, and then StumpTown on Friday and Saturday.
NATU will also be featured at Kinnick South, kicking off the week on Saturday night at a Pre-Rodeo kick off.
Pre-Rodeo priced tickets are still on sale at the ticket office. Prices will jump $5 beginning Sunday morning.
Johnson said there are a few other special things planned but wanted to keep those under his hat for now.
The full schedule for the 2019 event
Saturday August 31
Fareway sponsored – pancake breakfast beginning at 6:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. in the Coors Party Pavilion.
•The 19th Annual Tri-State Special Kids Rodeo begins at 10 a.m. Registration is open at 9 a.m.
•Pre-Rodeo Party at Kinnick South featuring the NATU Band! Watch the Iowa v. Miami of Ohio game and catch a NATU show to celebrate the kickoff of Rodeo Week. NATU will start at approx. 9:30 p.m. with no cover.
Sunday September 1
•Fareway sponsored – Chili Supper 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Coors Party Pavilion.
Monday September 2
•Lil’ Spurs Rodeo registration at 8:30 a.m. Event kicks off at 10 a.m. in the rodeo arena.
•Hy-Vee sponsored – Pulled Pork dinner from 5 p.m to 7 p.m. in the Coors Party Pavilion.
•Lil’ Miss Rodeo and All-Around Cowboy contest begins at 6:30 p.m. in the rodeo arena.
Wednesday September 4
•CINCH Chute-Out performance begins at 7 p.m.
•Pre-rodeo events begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Tri-State Rodeo arena.
•The NATU Band following the CINCH Chute-Out with contestant autograph session in the Coors Party Pavilion.
Thursday September 5
•Military Night – active duty and retired military with an ID card get in free.
•PRCA rodeo performance at 7 p.m.
•National Entertainer Michael Ray follows the performance.
•The NATU Band follows Michael Ray in the Coors Party Pavilion.
Friday September 5
•Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night – Wear pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness
•Rodeo performance at 7:30 p.m.
•National Entertainer Tracy Lawrence follows the performance.
•Stumptown follows Tracy Lawrence in the Coors Party Pavilion.
Saturday September 7
•Tri State Rodeo Parade begins at 9:30 a.m. on Avenue G. This year’s theme is “Country Boots – Midwest Roots”.
•Rodeo performance at 7:30 p.m.
•National Entertainer Justin Moore follows the performance.
•Stumptown follows Justin Moore in the Coors Party Pavilion.