The American Junior Rodeo Association has called San Angelo home for the past week. The rodeo is the best of the best of young talent from across the country.
Perry Curnutt, Marketing Director of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo said, "Most of the professionals going down the road today got their start here in the American Junior Rodeo Association. You know they've got categories for age groups starting 8 and under."
Curnutt said the future generation cowboys and cowgirls need this event as they learn necessary values.
"It teaches the youngsters some competition, it teaches them welfare and the care of animals. In other words, it teaches them a lot of responsibility and that's why this event is attractive to us because part of our mission out here is agriculture and its education. We're proud to host them," said Curnutt.
With close to 250 participants competing in the junior rodeo, the local economy receives a boost as well.
He said, "When you get that many people, mainly from out of town into your community, it's going to have an impact. You'll see it probably more so in restaurants, gasoline sales and retail. It utilizes all these buildings out here and that's the mandate we have from the public with the half cent sales tax dollars that built these facilities."
That's not including hotel motel taxes and more. The Chamber of Commerce estimates the junior rodeo's economic value this year to be around $1.59 million. San Angelo has the event for one more year. Curnutt said if the numbers are accurate, you could see more of the rodeo beyond 2008.
"Then based on that we'll make a determination as to whether it's good for us, it's good for San Angelo and hopefully come to an agreement to have them here for many years."
If you haven't made it out to see the young rodeo lovers in action, you can see them Friday night with another performance at 7pm. On Saturday there will be the short go around which will feature the best of the best. That kicks off at 1pm. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children six and under.