“this is not our first rodeo!”
On Thursday, March 7, 2019, 36 Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club members, husbands, and friends enjoyed a fabulous time at Arcadia All Florida Championship Rodeo held at the new Mosaic Arena in Arcadia. The 2019 rodeo, referred to as the 91st “Granddaddy of Em’ All,” entertained our LWRWC group, and thousands of other spectators, with exciting competitions that included bareback bronco riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding.
The Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo began its life as a modest event sponsored by the American Legion. The primary goal was to raise enough money for a new building for the organization. It was more successful than its organizers had hoped, grew over the years, weathered the Great Depression, and became one of the premier rodeos in the nation with an arena to match its status.
It’s not every day a $9 million rodeo arena opens in Florida, but that happened on March 8 -11, 2018, when the new Mosaic Arena in Arcadia , with 7,796 seats and 107,000 square feet, with a covered arena, hosted its signature “Granddaddy of ’Em All” four-day event .
The arena, which is owned by the rodeo association, has bucking and roping chutes, along with a design that eliminates support beams that often block views, more than 20 giant ceiling fans to ensure a degree of coolness on hot Florida days, and a 270-panel skylight system that minimizes shadows and lighting costs in the second largest clear-span Butler Building ever constructed in the United States. Best of all there’s not a bad seat in the house!
The annual Arcadia All Florida Championship Rodeo event brings millions of dollars to the local economy, an estimated $2.9 million this year. Florida’s oldest rodeo draws the best professional rodeo cowboy athletes from all over the United States. These rodeo athletes are not just aiming to win purses in the Arcadia Rodeo competitions. Their real hope is to work their way to the quote “Super Bowl” of rodeo: the National Finals held annually in Las Vegas. “The first thing that comes to mind is history and tradition,” Announcer Greg Simas said in a recent interview. “And in this country, that’s slowly fading away. So, for 91 years to be celebrated this week, it’s just something that’s few and far between.”
Everyone from the LWRWC group who attended said the rodeo was a blast! LWRWC President summed up the sentiment with ”Yeehaw!!! what a treat to attend a real rodeo in Florida of all places. My husband Barry and I had a great time!” LWRWC Program Co-Chairs Cathy Reinitz and Claudia Dombrow coordinated this event as part of the Off-the-Ranch series. From now on all the attendees can honestly say “this is not our first rodeo!”