As Sheridan WYO Rodeo week commences, the newsroom and The Sheridan Press overall staff are busy scurrying around in preparation for all that is in store. In-house, we are preparing articles and print newspapers for the parade to coincide with our float and classic tradition of passing out papers during the parade. We have carriers, staff and journalists gearing up to sprint downtown with Friday’s print edition and My Bighorns swag to hand out to parade-goers.
Beyond our walls, we have reporters at every rodeo week event and full coverage in print, online and through our social media channels all week.
This week proves the most fun and taxing week for The Press crew. Special events fill our schedules on top of daily hard news coverage. The past two years, Sheridan has experienced tragedies that tore me off the fun adventures to investigate the who, what, when, where and why of breaking news at the beginning of the week.
Rodeo Week at The Press is a special dance in the newsroom. Months before we begin planning the rodeo magazine with the theme in mind. “Saddle up for the Sheridan WYO Rodeo” challenged us to find the saddlemakers of our day and round up the history not found on Google but through traditional storytelling through interviews with the greats.
We completed that product and are proud to be distributing it now and throughout the week. Be looking out for that classic bold cowboy cover when you’re out and about this week — I’m obviously biased, but it’s a fun read.
Post-magazine, we jump right into planning who does what for the entirety of the week. Our schedule is a longer version of one we publish in our paper on A1 throughout the week and includes who is on Facebook Live — which we will have at varying events each day — and who is assigned to grabbing photos of the cannon start or the adorable Wild Pony Races. Each journalist works diligently at least one night of the official PRCA performance, among the numerous other events going on. Our sports reporter, Bud Denega, and photojournalist, Matt Gaston, attend the rodeo each night to capture the action and bring back great recap articles and photos for our readers the next day. Long hours, dusty hands and late nights create the product you see each afternoon.
Friday is our big day with a pancake breakfast to start the day, parade, Beds Along the Bighorns, 5K, parade, duck races, powwow and Patriot Night.
At the end of it all, all but three of the journalists and staff crash Sunday afternoon, when one reporter covers the Bob King Memorial Roping and one or two others venture to the Big Horn Equestrian Center to capture cowboy polo and amateur polo matches to wrap up rodeo week.
For many, rodeo week is fun, fast-paced and exhausting. For us, it is all that and also a great opportunity to engage with and work for our community.