Volunteers with the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo are “cautiously optimistic” that the rodeo, which dates back to as early as 1937, will be operating at full capacity for the June event, which will be held from June 3-6 at Casey Jones Park. It’s great news for community members and volunteers, but a challenge for rodeo officials, who are trying to make up for money they lost last year when the stampede was canceled.
According to Jace Glick, past president of the Elizabeth Stampede and current volunteer, the Stampede, like many businesses and organizations in Elbert County, took a huge financial hit when COVID hit last year and the Stampede was canceled.
“We are cautiously optimistic that we’re going to have a full capacity Stampede in June,” said Glick. “But we’re about $35,000 short of a $175,000 goal to be able to put on the event at the same level of excitement and fun as previous years.”
Even though the rodeo was canceled last year, Glick said deposits were lost, and monies were paid that were not refundable. The award-winning Stampede is self-funding each year, using proceeds from parking, ticket sales and beer sales from the previous year.
After seeing the outpouring of support from community members during the coronavirus closures, Glick said he’s hoping community members will get behind the Stampede and help raise the extra funds.
“We’ve created a booster club for people who want to help and get some nice perks,” said Glick. “For $100 you can become a founding member, and get discounts on tickets and all kinds of stuff for the Stampede.”
The rodeo board has filed for a copyright of their new catchphrase “Life. Liberty. Rodeo,” and founding members will be the first to receive ball caps with the new logo. There is also a Mutton Bustin’ membership for $50 that comes with its own perks.
“The Elizabeth Stampede is all about history,” said Glick. “It’s good for everybody, regardless of who they vote for, how they look or what they think. A rodeo brings people together for good reasons, and we really need that right now. And in the spirit of rodeo, we’re hoping the people of Elbert County will help keep us going.”
The stampede usually sees about 2,000 visitors each day of the three-day event, which includes several PRCA rodeos, concerts, events for kids and a parade. For more information about this year’s Elizabeth Stampede visit www.elizabethstampede.com.