What to do with the rodeo?

What a difference a down economy makes.

It wasn’t long ago when Kitsap County officials were patting themselves on the back, proud of the private/public partnership that had helped the Kitsap Stampede become one of the best rodeos around. It worked for all parties, and it could still work.

But there’s already talk of privatizing the rodeo. http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/sep/07/kitsap-parks-department-might-turn-over-rodeo-to/

It’ll be interesting to see where all of this goes. This is not a good time to totally privatize the Kitsap Stampede, but it is a good time to knock around some ideas and make it an even better event. I had a lot of conversations with a lot of folks at this year’s rodeo, and there were a lot of good ideas.

How about starting with moving the Xtreme Bulls to Wednesday night, and don’t charge $21 for a ticket ($17 for kids). Make it affordable. The Bulls under the lights would be a lot better show than on a hot Sunday afternoon when a lot of the energy has already been sapped out of a lot of the fans who have been going to the fair and rodeo for four straight days.

Could close the fair with the Demolition Derby, like they used to do in the old days. Turn the rodeo into a three-day event, doing two performances on Saturday: an afternoon show and an evening show.

Gotta be creative folks. It’s a fun event the way it is, but it’s probably time to consider some changes.

After the Bulls are done bucking on Wednesday, head over to Gordon Field for Rodeostock.  If you could find a sponsor to pony up some big bucks for a big-name act, go for it. If not, bring in some local bands — the Joey James Dean Band, Tumbledown, Lemolo etc. — with a loyal following and rock the place until 2 p.m.

It would give the fair and rodeo a nice jump start.

Make Thursday military night.

Make Friday kids night.

Do something on a nightly basis to fill the place.

County Commissioners need to be careful while pondering their next move. If they make the wrong one, they could do a lot of damage to an event that an awful lot of people get a lot of enjoyment out of.


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