FORT MADISON - The Tri-State Rodeo kicked off with the flare and pyrotechnics that have become part of the draw of the Chute-Out.
This year Jim Baier Ford and Dodge Ram picked up the tab for the event after CINCH Jeans stepped away from a long run as the Wednesday night All-or-Nothing format's sponsor.
MC Boyd Polhamus was joined by veteran rodeo announcer and former TSR front man and Hall of Famer Bob Tallman for the Chute-Out Wednesday night at C.E. Eddie Richards Arena to open the 75th Anniversary of the event.
General Chairman Chuck Kempker said her reached out to Tallman months ago.
"We knew it was the 75th and we tried to get as much as possible as far as personnel for the show. He was able to come in for Wednesday night and I have to say he was more than pleased," Kempker said.
Tallman used to call the rodeo prior to Polhamus and the arena was very different at that time.
"He was here in the past . I called him three or four months ago and had a little discussion and got him. It was neat having him here. Back in the day we had a larger arena and the older VIP. But he got the WOW factor. He sat in the new section where everyone could see him and he could see everything. Then he and Boyd just got after it. His knowledge of the cowboys and events is unbelievable."
Wednesday's performance was almost a sellout and Kempker said most of the people stayed and filled the arena to hear Ian Munsick for a couple hours after the show.
Kempker was presented with a plaque during the show by PRCA CEO Tom Glause for Tri-State Rodeo Committee celebrating the 75th year of a top Midwest Circuit Outdoor rodeo.
"That was really nice. He was able to fly in for the event and then he had to fly back out after the presentation."
The Tri-State Rodeo continues with a full slate of cowboy action and music tonight starting at 7 p.m.
The rest of the this week's rodeo schedule is listed below.
Thursday - Rodeo action 7 p.m. - Tough Enough to Wear Pink night. Chris Jansen follows on the Main Stage with Bootcut Band in the Bud Light Stockyard.
Friday - Tri-State Rodeo action 7 p.m. - Country Music Hall of Famer's Alabama take Main Stage at 9 p.m. with Stumptown following in the Bud Light Stockyard.
Saturday - Tri-State Rodeo Grand Rodeo Parade - 75 Years of Family Traditions - 9:30 a.m.: Tri State Rodeo action - Military Night. All past and active military personnel get a free ticket into the event. Riley Green takes the main stage following the rodeo and then Stumptown in the Bud Light Stockyard.
Sunday - Lion's Club Pancake Breakfast at Fort Madison Airport from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.
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