If you don't have your tickets to this weekend's Pioneer City Rodeo, you had better saddle up, because they're going fast.
The Palestine Chamber of Commerce office reports strong ticket sales this year. They still have tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday night's performances, but the Saturday tickets are limited.
Tickets are $10 for children and $15 for adults. If you call and reserve tickets, or buy them early, the cost is $12 for adults. To reserve or buy tickets you can call the chamber offices at 586-2222.
Those looking for camping spots may also want to contact the chamber office as spots are going fast, and are extremely limited.
Volunteers have been working for months to get the area in shape for this year's return to rodeo. In April, flood waters covered the arena and ticket holders in Row 4 or below would have been sitting in water. Everything has been cleaned, repaired and painted.
The competition will be fierce for the Pioneer City Rodeo as more top competitors report their intention to come to Palestine. Bee Jay Scott is a bareback rider from Otey, Iowa. He is currently second in standing in the Great Lakes Circuit. Will Smith is from Marshall, Mo., and is sixth in saddle bronc standings.
Sunshine Schwarts, Anoka, Minn., tops the leader board in bullriding, and will face tough competition from Will Crain, who is no stranger to the Pioneer City Area. Crain has made the drive over from Farina several time over the past few years to ride the bulls.
Full rodeo means roping and wrestling. Justin Maass, Giddings, Texas, leads in tie-down roping and is second overall in the Texas Circuit. Two other Texas cowboys coming to Palestine will be Clayton Shaw, Alvord, Texas, and Cimarron Boardman, Stephenville, Texas. Both are strong competitors.
A crowd favorite this weekend will be Tooter Silver, Quitman, Ark. Tooter is currently third in steer wrestling, and sixth overall in the Great Lakes Circuit. He will be putting the pressure on top ranked Bob Loosenort, Hazel, Ky., and Nebraska native, Kyle Witaker.
Women's Professional Barrel Racing also promises some high speed action. Sydni Blanchard, Albuquerque, N. M., will be the one to watch as she sets 13th in world rankings. Laura Kennedy, Quitman, Ark., will be hot on her heals as she stands at top the local circuit and is ranked 45th in the world. Lauren Schild, Greenville, Wis., will be looking to defend her 2011 Pioneer City Rodeo title, and 2001 Pioneer City Rodeo WPBR champ Marne Loosenort, Hazel, Ky., will also be looking to capture another buckle for herself.
Here is a full schedule of the weekend's events:
Thursday, Aug. 29
The carnival opens for four big nights at Leaverton Park.
Friday, Aug. 30
Arts, crafts and collectibles vendors will open their booths at 9 a.m. in Leaverton Park.
The first performance of the PRCA Rodeo at 7 p.m. at the Pioneer City Rodeo Arena.
After the show there will be a DJ Kale Calvert in the Coors Light Beer Tent, located just outside the arena.
Saturday, Aug. 31
Antique gas engine exhibit and swap meet all day at 116 E. Grand Prairie Street in Palestine.
Chuckwagon Breakfast starts at 6 a.m. in Main Street. Breakfast features pancakes and whole hog sausage for a free will donation.
Free entertainment begins at 7 a.m.
Main Street Market Madness begins at 6 a.m.
Collector's belt buckle auction at 9:30 a.m.
Jr. Pedal Tractor Pull at 10 a.m. sponsored by the Palestine Eagles. Registration is from 9 - 10 a.m.
Lunch with the Clowns is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Main Street. Kids of all ages can have lunch with the clowns.
Garden tractor pull begins at 1 p.m. sponsored by the Sullivan County Garden Tractor Club. Registration is from 11 a.m. to noon.
Free entertainment at the Band Shell from 2-4 p.m.
The second performance for the PRCA Rodeo begins at 7 p.m.
The Coors Light Beer Tent will be open after the show just outside of the arena.
Sunday, Sept. 1
Sunday morning there will be church services held in the band shell at 10:15.
Arts, crafts and collectibles-booths open at 11 a.m. in the park.
There will be free entertainment at the band shell from 12:30-3:30 p.m.
The third performance of the PRCA Rodeo begins at 7 p.m., in the Pioneer City Arena.
After the show the Coors Light Beer Tent will be open just outside of the rodeo arena.
Monday, Sept. 2
Pre-parade entertainment featuring the Crawford County Shrine Clowns on Main St., and the band Battle Creek in the band shell in the park starting at 9 a.m.
Arts, crafts and collectibles booths in the park open at 9 a.m.
The annual Labor Day parade rolls out at 10 a.m. The parade starts at Main and Market sts., going south on Main to Harrison St., then east to Leaverton Park.
The Battle Creek will again take the stage from noon to 1 p.m. closing out the Labor Day celebration.