The annual Wild West BBQ Cook-off, Prairie Showdown, Cowboy Up at the Wagons and the S.E. Colorado All Star High School Rodeo had their marketing and contract fee requests approved by the Prowers County Lodging Tax Panel on Tuesday, February 21st. The total requests amounted to $13,500 which was covered by funds in the Panel budget. Carla Scranton, Panel business manager, announced that $16,891.82 had been received from the State of Colorado in February and another payment was expected in May. The funds are derived from a 2% lodging tax which is levied an all motel rooms in Prowers County and paid to the Panel through the County each quarter.
Cindy Bennett, speaking for the BBQ committee, said their $2,000 request will be applied to regional advertising of the event, set this year for May 12-13th at Willow Creek Park. “Our event drew 35 teams to Lamar for last year’s cook-off,” she explained and added that part of the growth was due to a fixed annual schedule which allowed competing teams to plan for Lamar’s date, around other events they attend through the year. “We’re also looking at a plan that will allow teams that want to, to provide samples of their barbecue to the public this year,” she told the Panel. This is in response to requests to let the hundreds of visitors get a sample of what’s on the grills. Not all the participants want to offer meals for sale because of the licensing costs involved for only two days.
The Prairie Showdown, set for June 10-11th, will have their second year at the county fairgrounds and features Colorado Versatility Ranch Horse Competition, according to Connie Brase, who made the funding request. “We’re gaining regional appeal for the event which will feature a clinic on Saturday, followed by competitive events on Sunday,” she said. She requested $2,500 to be used for contract fees and marketing. “The clinic is a horse/rider event for all participants for cutting, reining, trail, boxing and horsemanship. Sunday will be judged competition for those events in various categories,” Brase added.
Cowboy Up at the Wagons will feature ranch bronc riding for the first time this year. Norma Dorenkamp said the June 3rd event in Granada is hosted by the Santa Fe Trail Cookers and will feature judging on chuckwagon campsites as well as the added feature. “We think it will really expand the number of people who come out to watch the new addition,” she said. The all-day event is held at the End of the Line Arena at the edge of Camp Amache. The Panel awarded her $3,000 request and the admission fee is $10 a carload.
The S.E. Colorado All Star High School Event, set for March 31st through April 2nd, will feature Junior High competition, according to Mike Reed, who requested $6,000 to stage the annual competition which brings in approximately 150 families to the community. About 50-70 motel rooms are booked for two to three nights by the families of the participants.
The next Lodging Tax Panel meeting will be March 22nd at 4pm at the Rodeway Cow Palace Inn.
By Russ Baldwin
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