Silver Spurs Rodeo

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Silver Spurs Rodeo

The Silver Spurs Rodeo is a rodeo held twice per year in Kissimmee, Florida. During the late 1980s, it was one of the fifty largest rodeos in the United States,[1] and is billed as the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi River.[2] Since 1994, it has been the official state rodeo of Florida.[3]

History[edit]

In 1941, the Silver Spurs Riding Club was formed in Kissimmee. In 1944, at the height of World War II, the Riding Club sponsored a rodeo to encourage local citizens to purchase war bonds.[4] The first rodeo was held on July 4, 1944,[5] and in 1951, a February event was added to the calendar.[5] The February rodeo is important enough to the region's self-image that it is a school holiday (for teachers and for students) throughout the county.[6]

The first rodeo was held on land donated by a local resident; in 1949, the Riding Club bought a 15-acre parcel of land (to which they added an additional 7.5 acres the following year), and built a stadium, stands, and a concession area.[5] In 2003, the club built a new indoor stadium, the Silver Spurs Arena, which features luxury seats and bar service.[7]

During the late 1980s, the rodeo was one of the fifty largest rodeos in the United States, with a purse of approximately US$60,000.[1] By 2005, however, attendance at had dropped slightly,[2] and as of 2009, the purse had declined to approximately $50,000.[8] The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association does not list the Silver Spur Rodeo in their top 50 rodeo listing for 2009.[9] As the demographics of the region change, with more Hispanic residents moving into the area, the rodeo has moved to increase its appeal to the new residents; it held its first Latin rodeo in 2005, weaving salsa and hip-hop music into its traditional events.[2]

In 1994, the Silver Spurs Rodeo was designated as the Official State Rodeo by the Florida Legislature.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Rodeo Purse Rises At Kissimmee Silver Spurs". Orlando Sentinel. February 1988. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Jacobson, Susan (February 18, 2005). "Back in the Saddle: Even As Osceola County Changes Dramatically, Cracker Cowboy Culture Goes On, Epitomized By Silver Spurs.". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Florida Statutes, Title IV, 15.0391 Official state rodeo". The Florida Legislature. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ Byrd, Alan (February 24, 1997). "Silver Spurs Rodeo: Riding high after 53 years". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Carroll, Frank (February 14, 1988). "Silver Spurs Rodeo Rides On Tradition". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ Abbott, Jim (January 11, 2010). "A bargain to see bucking broncs at Silver Spurs Rodeo". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  7. ^ Berlincke, Jeff (February 20, 2004). "Silver Spurs Rodeo Back At Kissimmee". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  8. ^ Pedone, Rick (June 5, 2009). "Silver Spurs Rodeo takes center stage at Heritage Park tonight and Sunday". Osceola News-Gazette. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Top 50 2009 Rodeos by committee purse". Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. p. 254. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 

External links[edit]