The first paragraph in the July 20, 2017, issue of the Arcadian began:
“When the dust settles on The Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo’s new facility, Mosaic Arena in November 2017—it will be historical in more ways than one. Because the tons of dirt now covering the old rodeo arena will be transplanted into the new facility’s floor—making the sacred soil of past rodeos an integral link to the future. History is worth preserving …!”
Now a little over a year later, I wanted to take a look at the $9 million arena, the events that have taken place, improvements made, and what’s in store for the future. To get these answers, I found Katie Marks, executive director for the Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo, the historic “Granddaddy of Em All” that is supposed to be the oldest rodeo east of the Mississippi. According to Marks, “The driving force behind the progress we have made over the past year is our board of directors. They work extremely hard to make this facility a success. We have had many new supporters from the community, either volunteering their time or giving donations.”
Phase one of Mosaic Arena construction is now complete, and the Rodeo Association is into phase two.
“Contestants who participate in rodeo events come from all over Florida, they bring their horses and they need some place to house them while they are here,” explained Marks. “In addition, we’ve had lots of inquires for beef shows, which we can’t accommodate at the present time.”
Therefore, Marks said, a primary project in phase two at Mosaic Arena is to finish building 168 covered stalls/pens for these animals working the various events. Construction is scheduled to be completed this month, plenty of time ahead of the March championship rodeo that last year brought 25,000 or so visitors, many of them from around the state, the country and even foreign nations. Plans include televising the 2019 March rodeo on RFD-TV’s The Cowboy Channel.
Katie Marks said: “We have a lot to offer a TV audience—our rodeo is 91 years old, our stock contractor provides us with some of the best animals in the industry and top 10 professional competitors, plus the 25,000 spectators that attend. We are also excited that Arcadia as a whole will be featured on a national level.”
The Rodeo Association has also just completed a more user-friendly website that does a better job marketing this gem of an attraction in the heart of Florida’s agriculture belt. The public on the website can access an event calendar, buy tickets, learn about parking options and directions from various points on the compass. And contestants/vendors can get information on the 7,000-seat building, rates, its points of entry and other details.
I’ve noticed that there is a diversity of talent and entertainment as events at Mosaic Arena are held or planned. For instance, the Garden Bros Circus has performed here. Kim Thomas’s barrel-racing clinic and a $3,000 added Barrel Race took place last year. One contestant came all the way from Brazil to compete. High school, youth and retro rodeo events have been staged, as well. Other examples of bringing it to Arcadia include the 2Xtreme Racing Monster Trucks, the Arcadia Truck and Jeep Invasion, various statewide equine associations and the Cowtown Polo Night, which is from Sarasota. The arena also hosted charitable benefits, political rallies and corporate events. There’s even a country music concert on Feb. 26. And Arcadia showcased the place with its Ridge League dinner in December, for instance.
The Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo continues to define Arcadia as a community dedicated to the history and economy of the cattle industry, to the education and introduction of young people to that important lifestyle. Mosaic Arena is the centerpiece that has helped continue that rich culture, and to bring new and exciting entertainment to our area.
Check out the Jeep and Truck Invasion on Jan. 19.
At a Glance
2450 Roan St., Arcadia 34266
Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo (PRCA), March 7-10