DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — Every summer almost smack dab in the middle of July, folks gather around a dirt-filled arena just south of Marble Falls. Some people roll in early, just so they can back their pickup truck up to an open spot along the fence.
They’ll even leave the truck there during the day and come back later when the gates officially open to pull down the tailgate, open the cooler and set up their chairs for a front-row seat.
Others take their spots in the stands on both sides of the arena.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Mike Dyer of the Marble Falls Rodeo Association, the group putting on the event. “We really have some great, supportive fans. And they keep coming back year after year. We have a lot of local folks, but we also get a bunch of folks who come in from out of town just for this rodeo.”
Dyer is speaking about the 2014 Marble Falls Open/Pro Rodeo on July 18-19 at the Charley Taylor Rodeo Arena, located about a mile south of Marble Falls on U.S. 281. The fact the rodeo draws a big crowd of both local and out-of-town spectators is a testament to the excitement and fun surrounding the event.
This year’s rodeo is sticking with the winning model.
The Cadillac Rodeo Co. is once again the stock contractor. The Marble Falls Rodeo is part of the “The Party’s Not Over Tour.”
“And Leon Coffey is once again our rodeo clown,” Dyer said. Coffey is one of the most well-known rodeo clowns. He joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1973, has appeared in the National Finals Rodeo five times and was an alternate three more years.
Coffey, who was born in Blanco, has made a career of saving cowboys and entertaining crowds.
Ginger Duke returns as the rodeo’s specialty act, and she might be bringing a couple of friends along with her, the Dynamite Dames.
Of course, after the Saturday performance, fans can stick around for some live music by Adam Fears and dancing.
Fears is a Texas musician and records under the LandStar Entertainment Label. His first album is called “Golden Gravel Road.” Before signing with LandStar, Fears released an independent album called “You Get Me,” which landed several singles on the Texas Music Chart. Go to www.adamfearsmusic.com for a taste of his music.
But, of course, the heart of the event is the rodeo.
The Marble Falls Open/Pro Rodeo won’t disappoint in that area. The professionally sanctioned event entices many rodeo athletes to put Marble Falls down on their calendars. And with $4,000 in added money, it’s going to be tough for cowboys and cowgirls to pass up.
The rodeo features all the traditional events, including bull riding, ladies break-away roping, tie-down calf roping, team roping, saddle bronc, bareback, barrel racing and steer wrestling.
This isn’t just a spectator event. Fans can jump in the arena for a couple of special events, including the steer-saddling competition, the calf scramble and mutton bustin’.
Dyer said children interested in the mutton bustin’ event should pre-register at Hill Country Pediatric Dentistry, 608 Gateway Central, or call (830) 693-7044.
Rodeo gates open at 6:30 p.m. with performances starting at 8 p.m.
Admission has changed a bit this year. Tickets for the Friday rodeo are $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12 and free for children under 6.
But on Saturday, adult tickets are $15, while the children prices remain the same. The Saturday ticket does include live music and dancing after the rodeo.
As an organization, the Marble Falls Rodeo Association helps support many local groups through money raised from the rodeo. The association also offers college scholarships to area high school students.
Go to www.marblefallsrodeo.org for more information.