Web exclusive: Penn Valley Rodeo will come back to life | TheUnion.com

Web exclusive: Penn Valley Rodeo will come back to life

Rodeo fans, mark your calendars. The Penn Valley Rodeo is making a comeback.

After financial restrictions prevented the 47-year-old event from being held this year, a group of Penn Valley residents has organized an effort to bring the rodeo back next May under new sponsorship.

“2004 is just a hiccup,” said Bob Winters of Penn Valley. “Our goal is to keep the rodeo a community tradition for Penn Valley.”

About 25 people crammed into the community room of Penn Valley’s old fire house Thursday night and agreed to take on the financial and physical responsibilities to keep the rodeo an annual event, Bishop said.

Previously, the Penn Valley Rodeo was sponsored by the Penn Valley Fire Association and held at the rodeo grounds behind the old fire department on Spenceville Road in Penn Valley.

But due to lack of funding and rising insurance costs, the firemen’s association said it could not manage the rodeo this year.

“The rodeo has lost money the past three years; we just didn’t have the money to put it on this year,” Dennis Bishop, president of the association, told The Union in June.

Next year’s rodeo is tentatively scheduled to be held May 21 and 22 and will be held at the same location as in years past.

It will be hosted by the firemen’s association, Bishop said, but will be sponsored by the newly formed community organization, Penn Valley Community Rodeo Association.

At Thursday’s meeting, the group elected officers and voted to hold the rodeo at an earlier date in order to avoid hot weather.

“We think weather kept people away from the rodeo in the past,” Bishop said. “But history shouldn’t prevent us from having success in the future.”

Linda Davidson was elected president of the organization, and Karen Casto agreed to act as the group’s treasurer.

However, Bishop said the group is looking for a professional bookkeeper to help Casto manage the finances of the rodeo.

At the committee’s next meeting on Aug. 16 at 7 p.m., Bishop said, the group will establish committees and designate responsibilities to continue preparation for the rodeo’s May date.

“We have an enthusiastic group of people here willing to do what they can to bring the rodeo back,” Bishop said.

“Now we’re just making sure we have the right management and enough publicity to keep the rodeo tradition alive in Penn Valley.”

For more information or to join the Penn Valley Community Rodeo Association, e-mail Linda Davidson ralynns@jps.net.

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