ARCADIA — The 6th Annual Arcadia Fall Rodeo brought in the crowds over the weekend.
The Oct. 19-20 event was the top selling fall rodeo so far for Arcadia.
Last year’s event sold 4,600 tickets for both days with this year’s having already sold over 4,800 tickets before the weekend and even more at the door.
“Our ticket office was busy all day Saturday,” said Maribeth Dunlap, executive director of the Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo, organizer of the fall rodeo.
“The rodeo was amazing,” Dunlap said. “It’s popularity has grown so much. We exceeded the number of ticket sales (from) over the last five years. We had some excellent feedback from the crowd. People loved the Bullfighters Only in addition to the the regular rodeo events.”
This year’s rodeo featured BFO, a freestyle bullfighting team. Freestyle bullfighting, not to be confused with bull riding, is a newer sport in the rodeo world that was inspired by the rodeo clowns who protect the bull riders.
“These folks will get in with the bull in a timed event,” Dunlap said. “They read the body language of the bull, using their skills to outmaneuver the bull (with acrobatics and leaps) ... no tools or weapons, just them and the bull.”
Rodeo-goers also got to see all their favorite traditional rodeo events − mutton bustin’, bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie down roping, barrel racing and bull riding.
“Everything went smooth. (Our organizers have been doing this for a long time now and know how to put on these events,” Dunlap said. “People were really happy and it’s wonderful to watch. People just love the whole rodeo experience.”
Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo is a nonprofit organization that puts on the Fall Rodeo as well as other events like the annual Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo, which is entering its 92nd year of action in March 2020.
“This was just the little sister event for Arcadia rodeos,” Dunlap said of the Fall rodeo. “Just wait until March when we hold the ‘Grandaddy of ‘Em All’ All-Florida Championship Rodeo.”