SWEETWATER COUNTY – It’s like Garth Brooks said, “Well it’s bulls and blood, it’s dust and mud, it’s the roar of a Sunday crowd. It’s the white in his knuckles, the gold in the buckle, he’ll win the next go ’round. It’s boots and chaps, it’s cowboy hats it’s spurs and latigo, it’s the ropes and the reins and the joy and the pain and they call the thing rodeo.”
With the start of the National Finals High School Rodeo just around the corner, the Sweetwater Events Complex is putting the final pieces in place.
Starting July 13, Sweetwater County and the Events Complex will be hosting over 1,500 competitors from 41 US states as well as five Provinces in Canada and Australia for the National High School Finals Rodeo. The National High School Rodeo Finals is the largest rodeo in the world with 13 performances over 7 days.
On Tuesday, Sweetwater Events Complex Director Larry Lloyd said for the most part they are ready to go. He said putting on an event this size is a complete team effort and thanked all the staff, volunteers and sponsors for working together to get things ready.
Lloyd and Kandi Pendleton, marketing and events manager, gave the board an update on the rodeo Tuesday night. The air conditioning units should start arriving on Wednesday and the Events Complex staff will start putting them in as they arrive. Pendleton said they still have golf carts available for rent but they are a little more expensive this year. The carts are brand new and they too should also start arriving on Wednesday. Pendleton said they are expecting 19 truck loads of golf carts. Temporary stalls have been arriving at the complex and should continue throughout the upcoming weeks.
The NHSFR starts July 13 with opening ceremonies taking place Sunday night. On Wednesday, the Governor’s Reception will take place. Pendleton said they did receive confirmation Governor Matt Mead will be in attendance. The final rounds, which are televised, start on July 19. Then as the NFHSR moves out, staff will start moving in the Red Desert Roundup Rodeo.
The complex is still looking for volunteers. Pendleton said they have volunteer slots still open, especially on the graveyard shifts. If anyone is interested in helping, they are asked to call the Events Complex. Volunteer training will start on July 7 and go through July 8.
Green River Chamber Director Rebecca Briesmaster said the Green River Chamber is also again promoting the NHSFR with a focus on the shooting competitions which take place over at the shooting range in Green River.
Along with the biggest trade show of all NHSFR, this year the complex will also have a Sportsman’s Expo which is being put on with the help of Muley Fanatics. Pendleton said of the 358 vendor openings they had for the expo, they only have about eight spots still open.
For a schedule of NHSFR events or to find other information, visit the Sweetwater Events Complex website at http://www.sweetwaterevents.com/ or call 352-6789. Also keep your eye on the SEC Facebook page for recent news and happenings at the complex.
Sweetwater County is expected to realize an economic impact of $7-$8 million each year with attendance for the 13 performances topping 100,000.