Plans in the works for Labor Day Rodeo in Williams
Rodeo producers looking for community support in the form of event sponsorships
WILLIAMS - After a long hiatus, the Williams Labor Day Rodeo will be thundering back to the rodeo grounds Sept. 3-4. Save the date and dust off your boots, because this event is for the community, according to rodeo producers Scott McDaniel and Terri Beeson.
"It will be an open rodeo, open to the world and we are doing 100 percent payback," Beeson said. "It's going to be two hours of guaranteed non-stop rodeo action."
Plans have already been made to kick the rodeo off with mud-busting and sheep riding. Then barrel racing, breakaway, roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc, bareback riding, bull riding and wild horse racing are all on tap for the rest of the weekend.
McDaniel originally approached Beeson with the idea to bring the Labor Day Rodeo back to Williams and is also stock contractor of Slash M Rodeo, providing livestock for the event.
In past years, Beeson produced the Ken McDaniel Memorial Rodeo named after her grandfather, Ken McDaniel. McDaniel, Beeson said, was the first rural mail carrier in the Williams area.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to put on another rodeo," Beeson said. "I did the Ken McDaniel rodeo for five years and kind of got out of it due to lack of sponsorship and when Scott McDaniel came to me I was a little nervous at first because it takes lot of money to put on a rodeo, so it is a big responsibility."
McDaniel said Williams is a rodeo town that people know about, as far away as California and New Mexico and wanted the opportunity to give the event another shot.
"I like the community. I like the people in the area," McDaniel said. "They are cowboy-oriented. There are a lot of ranches and stuff and it's not hard to put on a really good rodeo in Williams."
And so far, plans are going well, Beeson said. But in order to put on a top-notch event, sponsors are as essential as a pair of cowboy's spurs.
The World Famous Sultana bar has already offered to host the rodeo dance, a encouraging sign the community is responding with enthusiasm.
"But we definitely need more sponsors to keep it going and make it a successful event," Beeson added.
Along with the importance of recognizing rodeos are an integral part of the local heritage, Beeson said sponsoring helps to bring a much-needed boost to the economy.
"People should sponsor because the rodeo brings a lot of people into town," she said. "The more people that come into town that increases revenue."
Town revenue isn't the only reason McDaniel and Beeson want to bring the Labor Day Rodeo back, 2011 has seen too many blows to the industry, leaving a void in northern Arizona, once a flourishing rodeo culture.
"The bottom line is, Flagstaff doesn't have the rodeo, the horse racing is gone in Yavapai for right now, there was a horse virus going around earlier this summer, a lot of stuff is gone in the Northern part of Arizona and there used to be a lot things there," McDaniel said. "There is the Fourth of July Rodeo in Prescott, which is the biggest rodeo in the state. It is packed, standing room only."
Knowing that, McDaniel anticipates Williams is capable of hosting an event of the same caliber as Prescott.
"This is not my rodeo or Terri's rodeo; it's Williams' rodeo. We are going to try and put it on and keep it going, but it does belong to the community," he said adding having local support is what really counts when it comes to event longevity.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity to come up to Williams and be a part of it," McDaniel said.
If you would like to help sponsor the Williams Labor Day Rodeo, please contact Terri Beeson at (928) 635- 4305 or (928) 713-9651.