These days, it seems, the entire community loves the Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo. Class and family reunions are planned around that week in July. It is a week chock full of activities, the welcome mat quite large for natives, newcomers and visitors alike.
Sell out crowds are not uncommon and lines wind through the WYO Theater the day tickets go on sale as eager attendees vye for the best seats in the house.
Long-time rodeo board members and residents recall days when that was not the case.
Attendance wasn’t always so high and support was not always enthusiastic.
But over the years, members of the Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo board built the event into what it is today — a staple of Sheridan summers. The board ingrained their event and its impact into the day-to-day lives of locals. Investing thousands of dollars, the group made improvements to the Sheridan County Fairgrounds, which hosts the annual rodeo. In doing so, they’ve improved facilities that groups use all year. The improvements, to the tune of $468,000 since 2005, include a heating and air conditioning system in the fairgrounds exhibit hall, portable pens for livestock, the Gold Buckle Club grandstands, chute-side seating, Wi-Fi equipment and improvements to the crow’s nest.
Rodeo board members have said that “from the time they built the first grandstands in 1931, the understanding was always that there was going to be a rodeo, but that it was a community asset.”
Well, understandings often change over the years. Promises in one generation don’t always stand the test of time. It is praiseworthy that after the many years, the Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo board has been a part of this city, the mission of being a community event and asset remains at its core. The handing over of assets this week to the county and the fairgrounds is the latest example of the board’s commitment to the city they call home. Bringing millions of dollars in tourism dollars to the area, sponsoring other events in the community, continuing improvements to the fairgrounds and promoting Western events, arts and camaraderie, the Wyo-Rodeo board has showed itself to be a true community partner. Well done, and thanks.