For 68 consecutive years, the Pawhuska Roundup Club and the Cavalcade Committee has brought the "Worlds Largest Amateur Rodeo" to the Osage County Fairgrounds. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those responsible for making this year’s event such a great success.
First and foremost I would like to thank the contestants that represented 112 Roundup and Riding Clubs. Without you there is no show. No doubt that the increase in participation helped draw one of the largest crowds of rodeo fans that we have ever experienced.
I would also like to thank all of the spectators. You are the reason why we put this show on. Many of you are family and friends of contestants and your cheers of support for an outstanding run and collective sighs when the perfect run does not quite materialize are what fuels our contestants and brings them back year after year. Friday and Saturday night marked record crowds that flooded into Pawhuska to take in an exciting rodeo performance and concerts by Jason Boland & The Stragglers and the Casey Donahew Band. The rain on Thursday did not deter our fans from enjoying a cool, muddy, yet entertaining, Thursday night performance followed by a fantastic performance by the Josh Abbott Band inside the indoor arena.
Once again, our local merchants really rolled out the red carpet for our guests. Thank you to all of the merchants that participated in the window decorating contest and those that donated prizes in support of our queen’s barbecue. The clubs and queen contestants that participated thoroughly enjoyed themselves and are looking forward to the same opportunity for next year. In addition, your support through program advertisements, chute gate and other sponsorships allow us to keep the costs down for our guests so that we can continue to be competitive with the other summer events that are competing for the same group of people. However, our town and our contestants cannot do it all. In addition to the local support, we had several major corporate partners to provide support for our event. Osage Casino, Swinford Equipment, Tradewind Energy, Davis Moore Autogroup of Ponca City, Cavender’s, Lucas Metalworks, Indian Electric & Whitetail Properties were major corporate partners that allowed us the opportunity to attract our guests and helped make their stay affordable for 10 days. Panhandle Slim once again assisted with the professional appearance of our event and our event staff with their support for the 8th consecutive year. The Osage County Tourism Commission got the word out about our event with out-of-county advertising in Tulsa, Ponca City, Bartlesville and Stillwater.
This year marks the sixth year that the Cavalcade has teamed with the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce to sponsor the queen’s saddle and be our featured guest during the Queen’s barbeque. This year’s event marked the first time that the BBQ was a "sell-out" attraction. If you did not have a chance to attend this, I would suggest that you get your tickets early for next year. In addition, the continued support of Mike McCartney and the Chamber Board as well as their tireless efforts in promoting this event is an invaluable service for which we are deeply grateful. American Heritage Bank’s support through the sponsorship of the dance contest during the street dance as well as their presence at the BBQ and auction has helped take both events to unprecedented levels of success.
While this year’s Cavalcade got off to a sad start with the loss of caretaker Cecil Gullet, all of his work and preparation did not go unnoticed. Stephen Easley did a tremendous job picking up the reins and carrying on in spite of the difficult time. In addition, I cannot say enough about the tremendous support of the Osage County Commissioners, Bob Jackson, Scott Hilton and Darrin McKinney along with and the other members of the Osage County District 1 Staff who continue to provide us with one of the finest venues to host an event of this scale.
Words cannot describe the appreciation that I have for Ty Koch, and the staff of the Osage County Sheriff’s Department. They do an excellent job of keeping our campers, contestants and fans safe and secure during a time when our community’s population more than doubles.
Last but not least, I would like to thank our secretary Kate Huddleston, the Roundup Club Directors and Cavalcade committee members, Brad Swan, Joe Sweeden, Bart Perrier, Eusty Barbee, Scott Williams, Bud Gould, Joyce Moore, Dave Thennes, Kojak Holloway, Jeanne Strom, Jason Howell, Alexis Howell along with all of the Cavalcade employees for their hard work and tireless effort in making this years Cavalcade a success. Pawhuska and Osage County are truly blessed to have individuals of this caliber living here. These people are dedicated to this event and to this community. My hat is off to them for pulling off a world class production and I look forward to working with each one of them again next year to try and make the 69th Annual International Roundup Clubs Cavalcade even better!