WAPELLO — Like any other committee, the members of The Wapello Pro Rodeo board rotate out every few years.
There’s no rotating back in, though. The event committee is made up of Wapello FFA high school students, and their term ends with graduation — though many return after high school to help out. Retired FFA teacher Irv Meier has been a driving force behind the event since the beginning.
The Wapello FFA PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) Rodeo is 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at North End Park. The event is the only sanctioned PRCA rodeo in the country organized by FFA students.
That’s naturally a point of pride for the students, though they are more apt to give credit to the community rather than themselves.
“Because of our amazing fans, advisors, volunteers, sponsors, and FFA members we have been able to achieve this milestone,” said second year Wapello FFA member Lydia Fisher, who is helping organize the event.
Gizmo McCracken, the PRCA Rodeo Entertainer of the Year in 2017, will bring his shenanigans to the rodeo this weekend, breaking up the cowboy flow.
“Besides having exciting and hilarious specialty acts, we are proud to say that last year we hosted the highest marked bull ride for the 2017 PRCA regular season,” said Fisher, who is also a student ambassador for the group.
Ticket details can be found at http://www.wapellorodeo.com, as well as additional info about the event. Tickets will also be available at the gate.
Chief Wapello Days
The Wapello Pro Rodeo always coincides with Chief Wapello Days, ensuring there is never a lull in the weekend-long celebration. The party begins late Friday Night with a teen dance at 9 p.m. on Main Street by the Hotel Wapello after the rodeo, and doesn’t end until Sunday afternoon.
The Wapello Community Club, which organizes the event, will hold a pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday outside of Corner Market on north Second Street.
The parade, themed “Dreaming of a Bright Future,” will begin at 10 a.m.. The entire town, particularly the courthouse lawn, will be thrumming with festivities, and that includes tractor and car shows, auto cross, a tractor pedal pull, Big Wheel races, bounce houses, a dunk tank and balloon art.
The Wapello High School gym will host two big shows starting at 1:45 p.m. Saturday and going until 4:20 p.m. “The Amazing Adventures of Willy the Woolly Mammoth” puppet show will be performed from 1:45 to 2:30 pm by the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre. An intermission bake sale and quilt raffle will be held from 2:30 to 3 pm., followed by The Family Magic Show at 3 p.m.
Sunday will begin with a 6 a.m. catfish tournament, as well as a disc golf tournament at 8 a.m. A cemetery walk will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Wapello Cemetery, and the day will conclude with auto cross from noon to 4 p.m. in the Wapello High School parking lot.
For more information contact Katie Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-523-8381.