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Gladewater Rodeo returns after 2020 cancellation

Gladewater Rodeo stadium
Gladewater Rodeo stadium(Julian Esparza)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:16 PM CDT
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GLADEWATER, Texas (KLTV) - The Gladewater Rodeo gets back in action Wednesday after last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19. A costly decision says Rodeo association president Kyle Moore.

“It hurt our pocketbook guaranteed because our scholarships are funded through our vendors and our sponsors,” Moore said.

Moore says thousands of dollars that would’ve gone into their scholarship fund were lost because the rodeo didn’t happen. Also impacted were those like bull fighter Wacey Munsell whose livelihood relies on the rodeo.

“Both my dad and my grandad and my uncle they all fought bulls, rode bulls, rode bareback horses, so it goes back pretty deep in our family,” Munsell said.

Rodeo cancellations across the country left Munsell and countless others out of work.

“You’re sitting for, you know, nine months, so you lose over half your income. Had to go get a real job, you know and I ain’t had one of them since I was in high school. I’ve rodeoed professionally for a living since I graduated,” Munsell said.

“A lot of time off. Dug into the savings, my family and I, you know, we had a little nest egg saved up where we’re trying to move, trying to find a place, but we resorted to our savings, but you’ve gotta be able to find the positive in any situation, so spent a lot of family time at home. We got a lot of stuff done on the property; my kids started rodeoing. They hadn’t rodeoed before. They hadn’t been interested in rodeoing, so they all started youth rodeo, so if anything, 2020 was one of a great year, not financially, but it was a great year for our family and we pulled a lot of things out of it,” Rodeo announcer Greg Simas said.

Now the Gladewater Rodeo and rodeos around the country are coming back, bringing not only a paycheck, but also passion.

“I’m happy to be back out here doing what I love,” Munsell said.

The rodeo runs nightly through Saturday, June 12.

For more information on the rodeo and to buy tickets, click here.

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