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Cracker Day Rodeo returns to Posse Arena

January 16, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Last year, Hurricane Irma wrecked havoc on one of the longest running events in North Fort Myers, the Cracker Day Rodeo.

After a whole lot of fixing and cleaning up, the rodeo returns to the Lee County Posse Arena at 17401 Palm Creek Drive for three days this weekend, Jan. 18, 19, and 20.

Bobbi Harrison, advisor for the Lee County Junior Posse, said they are very excited to have the rodeo back.

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A steer wrestler from last year’s PRCA Rodeo at the Lee County Posse Arena.

FILE PHOTO

"We have a super rodeo production manager handling the stock and we think it will be a great show," Harrison said. "It's been a lot of work and we think we're ready to come back and hope North Fort Myers supports us."

The open rodeo will happen on Friday starting at 7 p.m. and on Saturday at 6 p.m. Sunday will be the Junior and Pee-Wee Rodeo starting at 10 a.m. and ending whenever they finish.

Slack for the open rodeo will happen Saturday at 8 a.m. Before the Junior Rodeo, there will be a church service at 9 a.m. by Cowboys for Christ Church.

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Harrison said many of the full-time members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association are coming south to compete and earn some points, and some of them could come to Cracker Day.

"There will be added money in all the events, including $2,000 in the barrel racing. We could very well be seeing some of the people we see at the end of the year in Las Vegas at the National Finals," Harrison said.

The Cracker Day Rodeo serves as the arena's biggest fundraiser. It is a non-profit organization which serves area youth by giving them a safe place to learn about horses and horsemanship.

It is also not your typical rodeo. While it will offer the roping and riding standards, it will also have events such as the Buddy Pick-up, team branding, pole bending and much more.

There will also be mutton busting and a calf scramble for the kids, food, vendors and, for the first time, beer on Friday and Saturday. No beer will be served at the junior rodeo.

The junior rodeo, which has also been a tradition, has had some challenges. It was cancelled last year, and in 2015 postponed until May because of tornadoes. In between, it has been moved around quite a bit.

Having the event Sunday seemed to make the most sense, even if it means an extremely busy weekend for the countless volunteers who put on the event.

"We are usually very tired after a three-day stint, but we do what we have to do to volunteer. This is why we're here," Harrison said. "Our goal is to keep this going for the kids."

The Cracker Day Rodeo will serve as a precursor to the PRCA Rodeo, which will happen Feb. 22 and 23.

Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and under, and those 5 and under are free. Parking is $5. All military and first responders will be admitted for a special price.

For more information, call Sherry Groff at 691-6432.

 
 

 

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