It's the 50th anniversary of NEBRASKAland Days. They run June 18-28, 2014. And a big part of the celebration is the Buffalo Bill Rodeo. It sets the stage for what is to be a busy and wild rodeo season.
"The Buffalo Bill Rodeo has been a professional rodeo since 1947."
That's Jack Morris. And though you may think he spends his time being a look-alike for actor Sam Elliott, he actually spends the year volunteering his time organizing the rodeo, along with co-chair Shelli Arensdorf and a committee of dedicated volunteers.
"There's a tremendous amount of volunteers that help out. We couldn't possibly do the event without their help," Morris says.
And their efforts have paid off. In recognition of their years of work to make the rodeo a premiere event in the rodeo world, the Buffalo Bill Rodeo Committee was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2008. It signified their passion for the event, their sport, and their state. And those in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the national finals are held, have certainly taken notice.
"We have several of our contract acts that help produce the rodeo that actually help produce the rodeo in Las Vegas. We often say, 'What happens in North Platte usually ends up in Vegas'."
With many of the top nationally-ranked cowboys and cowgirls scheduled to compete, the Buffalo Bill Rodeo is one of the larger PRCA rodeos that is scheduled just before the Fourth of July run, known as "Cowboy Christmas". It's a great start for the contestants, as they get ready for the 35-plus rodeos happening across the us over the Fourth of July week.
"We've been going a long time. We're one of America's first and premiere professional rodeos, and we're awfully proud of our event."
There are 4 nights of performances, the 18th through the 21st. Tickets for the rodeo are $20 for reserved seating and $13 for adults and $7 for kids ages twelve and under in the upper grandstand. They can be purchased at the NEBRASKAland DAYS office in North Platte, online at www.nebraskalanddays.com, and also at the gate. For more information, visit the website or call the office at 308.532.7939.