LEXINGTON — It was a tale of two nights for the 16th Annual Plum Creek Rodeo held at the Dawson County Fairgrounds on Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8.
Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director said, “Friday was perfect, we had great weather and good attendance. Saturday we were hampered by the weather, there were lots of storms in and around the area and the bulk of the storms arrived at the start of the rodeo.”
Attendance was close to 300 people over both nights, Neben said, she said many people stayed at home after seeing the weather forecast for Saturday. Dawson County Emergency Manager Brian Woldt had contacted the Lexington Chamber to warn them of the severe weather potential and to be safe during the outdoor event.
Despite the weather, nearly 200 contestants participated in events which included bareback bronco riding, steer wrestling, breakaway roping, saddle bronco riding, calf roping, team roping, mixed team roping, barrel racing and bull riding.
The stock was provided by Phillips Rodeo Company, judges included Kent Young and Joe Johnson. Those in the ring included bullfighers Chase Freeman and Rowdy Moon. Pickup men were Lance Heikel and Taylor Davis. Timing was handled by Patty Jestes and Kim Forster.
Neben said announcer Gregg McGreer was great to work with and aiding the rodeo on Saturday by providing announcements about time changes, the weather, etc.
The Dawson County Fair Board opened up Stevens Arena on Saturday so people could get inside out of the weather. “We really appreciate the fair board opening the place up for us,” Neben said, “We were able to serve the free hamburgers in there and people were able to bring their horses inside.”
Thanks to the generosity of several area businesses the chamber was able to offer a free meal of hamburgers, chips and water to everyone who bought a ticket. Tyson provided the hamburger, Mac’s Creek Winery, chips and buns, Homestead Bank supplied the grill and Plum Creek Market place made the meat into patties.
Neben extended thanks to Cody and Tara Naprstek for providing all the water again this year, as they did last year.
Zack Blessin and Darin Buescher were on hand to cook the hamburgers both evenings, Neben said thanking them for their time.
“Thanks to all the businesses who donated, we didn’t have to charge anyone a thing,” Neben said, “So many people came through and had their wallets out to pay but we got to tell them the whole meal was for free. People were very appreciative of that.”
More area business sponsored the rodeo in other ways including the program, chute gate, and posters. Neben said an event the size of the rodeo couldn’t be done without all the business support.
Gratitude was extended to the individuals who volunteered their time to work at the gate, taking money and directing people to where they needed to go. Neben said it takes a special group of people to work hour long shifts out in the heat on their own time.
Neben added the rodeo wouldn’t be possible without the partnership with the Plum Creek Rodeo Committee, Dawson County Fairgrounds and the Lexington Volunteer Fire Department. The LVFD was present both evenings in case of an emergency.
“We appreciate those who were able to attend despite the busy weekend and those who braved the weather Saturday,” Neben said.
The Plum Creek Rodeo has been a partnership between the Rodeo Committee and the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce for the last several years. The rodeo committee is responsible for providing a contestant and worker list, lining up heavy equipment and setting up the area, as well as clean up.
The Chamber is responsible for contacting sponsors, printing advertisement and posters and arranging gate workers and volunteers.