LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The biggest rodeo in Deep East Texas will not be happening this year.
The Lufkin host Lions Club announced the decision on Monday afternoon based on the current guidelines to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic . Annually the rodeo brings in hundreds of people from all over to watch some of the best cowboys of the PRCA. This year’s event was set to happen April 21-24.
Yearly the event will raise easily over $100,000 with much of the proceeds going to the Lufkin State Supported Living Center.
“It is tragic that we unfortunately are unable to put it together,” Rodeo announcer Mike Mathis said.
The rodeo has been going strong for 65 years and through that time has grown into a family affari for those involved.
“The hing I love is all the guys working it,” Mathis said. "There are some of those guys that are second and third generation people that are part of this rodeo. I have so much fun that week working with them. It is a big loss. Not only to this community but me personally.
The rodeo committee meets at least once a month in non-rodeo season and then weekly as the event draws near. They try to bring the best show and this year cannot but promise they will be back.
“We not only wanted to have the biggest rodeo, we wanted to have the best rodeo. We worked hard to do that. By going to so many rodeos I see different venues, I see different people, I see different things. We look at what works and what doesn’t work and we try to incorporate it here into making this the best of the best. An event where someone can say they are glad they were there. Please keep you and your family safe in all of this. We wish this wasn’t what we had to do but it was. So we are going to get over this and we are going to get set to bring you back what you have come to expect and that is the greatest show on dirt.”