Arcadia Rodeo opening day underway and on schedule

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Arcadia Rodeo grounds. Credit: WINK News.

There are no signs of worry at the Arcadia Rodeo for opening day Thursday. The rodeo was preparing for the night’s events when we visited, and there was already a good crowd there with many more people expected.

President Don Hall of the Arcadia Rodeo told us they were prepared to cancel because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) but everything remains on schedule currently.

“This is absolutely one of my favorite rodeos of the year,” said “Blue Jeans,” professional bull fighter. “It’s the committee that’s here; it’s the crowd that comes; the energy that gets in here during the rodeo.”

People of all ages visited from near and far to celebrate the 92nd annual Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo in DeSoto County.

“I’m glad I do not live anywhere else because I’m happy to be here,” said Paysleigh Pickle,  who is pushing steers and calves at the rodeo.

From opening day through Sunday, it’s nearly a nonstop rodeo.

Announcer Greg Simas told us it’s critical the show go on despite the concern for coronavirus.

“The history and the roots from a rodeo like this for 92 years keeps the Florida tradition alive,” Simas said. “This is not rodeo tradition; it’s Florida tradition.

Arcadia Rodeo isn’t new, but this arena is only three years old.

Hall says they built it to carry on the tradition for decades to come.

“It’s really important because this is the family event, and we really encourage and try to support the youth,” Hall said. “Another hundred years, that’s our plan.”

Hall said, when the CDC and Gov. Ron DeSantis did not order the cancellation of events, they decided to stay on schedule. He admits that could change depending on developments, but the rodeo continues to be set to go through Sunday as scheduled.

So, until there are any announcements otherwise:

“Come on out, Arcadia,” Simas said. “We’ll see ya here.”

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