SWEETWATER COUNTY – Administration and staff at the Sweetwater County Events Complex continue to prepare for a busy summer of events. On Tuesday, the Sweetwater County Fair Board received an update on preparations for this year’s National High School Finals Rodeo event.
This year will be the last year of the current contract between the Events Complex and the National High School Finals Rodeo. Marketing and Events Manager Kandi Pendleton informed the board the NHSFR Director will be at the complex in March for a site visit.
The biggest issue they will be looking at and will start making some final decisions on is a new event that has been added this year, the working cow horse event. The complex was hoping to have the event at one of the arenas on the grounds. However, Pendleton said it will most likely be moved to the arena across the street from the complex to leave enough time to prep for the other events.
While they have heard estimates of over 100 participants, Pendleton said she recently learned that would be one of the biggest working cow horse events ever and not to expect that many. She said they have no way of knowing exact numbers until just before the event.
While where to have it has been one of the discussions, Complex Director Larry Lloyd said there is also the issue of keeping the cattle fresh. That requires more stock and room to house the extra stock as well as the additional contestants and the number of stalls they will need for them as well.
All of these issues will be discussed with the NHSFR Director when he comes in March.
Pendleton said the first year, they were in constant communications with the director but this year; they have only spoken briefly. She told the board the Director told her the Events Complex knows what they are doing and he has “bigger fish to fry” right now. Pendleton said it was good for the complex staff and administration to hear praise that they are doing things right.
Another one of the big attractions during the event is the trade show. Pendleton reported she had been in contact with the person who handles the trade show, and that is moving along well. They are getting information from local hotels and putting together packets with the help of Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism. The contestants will start receiving the packets soon.
Another important thing for residents to keep in mind is the Rock Springs City Council recently took action to reduce speed limits again on Yellowstone Road during the NHSFR event. Additional signage will be placed to remind residents of the speed limit change along the route.
The Complex put in another bid to host the NHSFR in the future, but a decision has not been made. During this bid process, the NHSFR Committee received many more bids than they have in the past. With all the added bids received, Lloyd said they will have to do site visits to all those who bid which will take some time.
They will make the final decision, and award the bid when the board meets in Rock Springs during this year’s NHSFR competition.This year’s event will run July 12-18.