Setting Up for the Rodeo - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Setting Up for the Rodeo

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The 94th year of the Reno Rodeo kicks off with the cattle drive arrival and the return of the extreme bulls tour Thursday. It's such a big part of Reno, sometimes it seems like it's never really gone...the rodeo holds charity events all year.

Now it's time for the big show. The familiar holding pens, hay, banners and cowboy hats are already back at the Livestock Events Center. So is executive director Alan Kingsley for his 15th year of being in charge. He's been a big fan of the Reno Rodeo since his first visit in 1970. To him it was the big time. "I had seen rodeos in my hometown before and this was so much a bigger time. It's still the big time to me, definitely."

Alan never competed himself. Like many of us he had too much fun as a spectator, part of the local tradition that began in 1919. Except for one break during the dark days of World War 2, the rodeo has never been cancelled, even surviving the Great Depression. This year? The rodeo's Steve Schroeder sees nothing but blue skies: "It looks great this year. The weather's going to be great."

So all systems are go for more than 650 top cowboys and cowgirls to kick up this dirt at the rodeo grounds starting Thursday, all competing for $550 thousand in prize money. As Schroeder put it, "There's a lot of money on the line, and these athletes…if they win they're on their way to the finals, the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas."

Ready to take to the dirt again: steer wrestlers and bull riders...barrel racers and saddlebroncers. That won't change. What will, is a new enforcement of the ban on long-lens cameras. Media cameras are ok, but Schroeder says "As far as fans go, just like the NCAA. The NFL...you can't bring a long lens camera." Can you bring a smartphone? "You sure can. Post it on Facebook."

Besides that, no changes at this longtime Reno tradition. For Alan, that's the biggest draw. As he told us, "It just continues to impress me, as a really great wholesome activity."

-written by John Potter

There are still tickets available for this year's rodeo. You can purchase them, and check out the schedule on their website:

WWW.RENORODEO.COM

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