JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — A week of rain has been both a blessing and a setback for the Marble Falls Rodeo Association.
Lightning that occurred about 6 p.m. July 17 forced the association and Burnet County 4-H members to postpone the junior rodeo, the event that occurs on the Wednesday before the weekend of the pro rodeo.
“They’re trying to set up a (rescheduled) date,” said rodeo association vice president Steve Rogers. “For as soon as possible.”
Many of the organizers suggested conducting the junior rodeo July 21, but one of the 4-H officers will be out of town, Rogers said.
He said 30 participants, which includes 15 families and five walkups, were scheduled to compete July 17.
“I would say (the number of participants is) about average for a small town looking to get youth interested and less competitive where they feel more comfortable,” he said. “We want to keep this small. We’re looking to keep our youth in the area interested.”
The organizations sought sponsorships for various items, including belt buckles, so Rogers said there was never a thought about not having a junior rodeo this year.
Rogers said almost six inches of rain throughout the week has been a big positive for the site of the rodeo, the Charley Taylor Arena, 3053 U.S. 281 South.
“It’s so much help,” he said. “We don’t have the dust factor.”
Association member Mike Dyer agreed.
“It’s been wonderful,” he said. “We’ve worked the ground, so it’s been soft.”
Crews have been working the arena’s dirt for about a week-and-a-half.
“We’ve plowed it, we’ve got it sealed,” he said. “Everything on top will evaporate quickly. You want it to be as near perfect as it can be.”
Workers have tilled the arena dirt, added water and tilled it some more. Rogers said the arena has a great drainage system that doesn’t allow water to simply set in puddles.
“I think it’s going to be in as good a shape as ever,” Rogers said of the arena. “If we get more rain, we’ll use our best judgement.”
Now, he hopes a couple of days of sunlight before the pro rodeo starts at 8 p.m. July 19 will dry up the grounds more and the cooler temperatures will tempt more spectators to attend.
The rodeo continues July 20. Gates open at 6 p.m. both days. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. Slack is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. July 18.
Go to www.marblefallsrodeo.org for more information.