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Lancaster Event Center still needs volunteers to get rodeo ready

Lancaster Event Center still needs volunteers to get rodeo ready
Lancaster Event Center still needs volunteers to get rodeo ready(Ellis Wiltsey)
Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 9:11 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lancaster County Event Center is hoping to get more boots on the ground to help with prep work for the National High School Finals Rodeo.

It said it recovered from the storm last Friday which took out tents, blew over stalls just days before contestants are set to arrive.

Despite cleaning up the mess the setup process has suffered, and it’s now about two days behind where it hoped to be at this time.

The most pressing issue is horse stalls, which are set to hold upwards of 1,000 of them from around the world, hundreds still need to be assembled.

“We did not expect to be cleaning up those stalls for that Saturday and Sunday, said Hoyt Kraeger with the Event Center. “Those are the two days that have us behind. Just a little bit of everything needs attention.”

People in Nebraska answered the call following that storm. People like Jana Docter of Firth. She has been coming to Lincoln since Saturday and done everything from fixing those stalls to stuffing thousands of welcome baskets for contestants Tuesday afternoon.

“This is your community,” Docter said. “We need to stick together for the City of Lincoln. You know the more hands we can get it done faster.”

Even young volunteers were out in the 90-degree heat on Tuesday putting in the work. Lincoln’s brother and sister duo Bethany and Scott White were out giving barriers a fresh coat of bright yellow paint.

“Volunteered to check people in and then the storm hit and we decided to help repair things,” Bethany said.

Rodeo contestants will be able to start arriving Thursday at noon, event staff said there is no wiggled room on that, so everything must get done.

“That’s just part of the Nebraska way, of making sure what needs to get done gets done,” Kraeger said. “When someone needs help we make sure that they get it.”

The event center is looking for volunteers anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. it says it’s most helpful if you call ahead but if you just show up that’s fine as well.

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