With area high school teams and Cornhusker football on the bill next weekend, rodeo fans seemed glad to have a new weekend in which to get their kicks at the 23rd Annual Oregon Trail Rodeo Friday night at the Adams County Fairgrounds.
Despite the threat of thunderstorms in the forecast, hundreds turned out on a humid evening in the 80s to watch top professional riders from across the Midwest square off for points and prize money at an event that has become a well established tradition for many competitors and spectators alike.
Sandy Himmelberg, fairgrounds general manager, said rodeo enthusiasts seemed to appreciate not having to choose between attending the rodeo or getting out of town for Labor Day Weekend. Based on lofty pre-sale numbers, she is convinced that not being in competition with a holiday weekend and football has made the rodeo an even more attractive option to locals searching for an entertaining way to spend their weekend.
"I think this is going to be a good move for us," Himmelberg said. "Everyone seems to like the move that we've done. Because Labor Day is a three-day weekend, a lot of people like to go to Kansas City or the lake. With a two-day weekend, they're going to stay right here in Hastings and do whatever is in Hastings."