PRESTON – That Famous Preston Night Rodeo is a go. The Rodeo Committee is planning it as though COVID-19 is not a factor.
That Famous Preston Night Rodeo is a popular summer rodeo that generally has good support from the community. Local restaurants, gas stations and other businesses benefit from the traffic the rodeo brings. The committee is going full speed ahead until someone tells them otherwise.
“It will be the 86th year of That Famous Preston Night Rodeo,” said Kris Beckstead, rodeo committee chairwoman. “I’ve never had anybody contradict me when I’ve said it is the oldest night rodeo in the United States.”
The rodeo is Preston’s biggest draw, bringing in thousands of people for the three-day event. This year it will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 30, 31 and August 1.
“Several of the bigger rodeos have canceled, including the Days of 47 Rodeo and Parade, the Ogden rodeo and the Calgary Stampede,” Beckstead said. “A lot of the littler rodeos are still going to try and make a go of it.”
She said they should have a lot of top-notch talent in this year’s competition. That Famous Preston Night Rodeo has a purse of nearly $100,000.
“With the big rodeos all shut down, cowboys will be trying to make what money they can this year,” she said. “The sidewalk sale will also be back all three days.”
The City of Fun Carnival will also return with rides, boardwalk challenges and food for every night of the rodeo. The rodeo and carnival start after the parade.
Beckstead said she has been getting calls from out-of-towners who have been coming for years, wanting to know if the show will go on this year.
The Famous Preston Night Rodeo started in 1934 and has been held continuously every year since, except for one year during WWII.
“The cowboys were all fighting in the war,” Beckstead said.
“Our rodeo attracts good cowboys from around the country,” Sheryl Kimball, a rodeo committee member said.
The ticket office opened May 1, and they are already starting to sell tickets.