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85th Gladewater Rodeo hosts competitors from across the nation

Bull riding, barrel racing, calf roping, bronc riding along with kids events like mutton busting and the calf scramble are all on tap, along with specialty acts
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 3:00 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2022 at 6:26 PM CDT
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GLADEWATER, Texas (KLTV) - If it’s June, that means the signature event for one East Texas city -- the rodeo!

The 85th addition of the Gladewater Roundup Rodeo began Wednesday night.

Thousand-pound bull muscle being offloaded at a holding pen marked preparation for the Roundup Rodeo. Gladewater’s marquee event features top cowboys and cowgirls from all across America.

“They train, they work, they go, and they do constantly,” said Kyle Moore, the Roundup Rodeo director. “This rodeo’s for scholarships for students in our area. We’re all volunteers.”

Hampered during the pandemic era, the rodeo is back in full swing.

“We’re back. We’re back to normal, we want to see everybody come out and get in the seats,” Moore said.

Eight-time world champion and commentator Don Gay said the contestants personify the athleticism and toughness of the American cowboy.

“There’s no bunny slope. You have to get on the bull to develop what I call ‘bull sense,’ Gay said. “If you’re not in good physical condition, don’t waste your time. Ride and react, take a punch, get up and smile, and go to the next rodeo.”

For the city, it is an important economic impact.

“The stores are excited; most of them have put something rodeo in their windows,” said Lois Reed, the president of the Gladewater Chamber of Commerce. “This is a big boost to our economy.”

Extreme bull-riding, barrel racing, calf-roping, bronc-riding, along with kids’ events like mutton busting and the calf-scramble are all on tap, along with specialty acts.

“We got great acts. You want to see something, watch them guys fight the bulls,” Moore said. “They’re safety men. They put their life on the line, so the cowboys can go to the next rodeo.”

“Come to Gladewater. This is the week you don’t want to miss,” Reed said.

Gates of the Gladewater Roundup Rodeo arena will open at 6 p.m. Wednesday and continues with four straight nights of action. The first night begins with extreme bull riding, and mutton busting takes place at 7:45 p.m. before every rodeo performance.

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