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Annual Gladewater Round-Up Rodeo rides into town

"Our rodeo is one of the most respected activities," said executive director of the Gladewater Chamber of Commerce Lois Reed.

GLADEWATER, Texas — There are multiple events happening across East Texas this weekend but for the historic city of Gladewater, it’s rodeo season. 

The Gladewater Round-Up Rodeo is a major annual event that brings out-of-town spectators and professional bull riders to the "Antique Capital of East Texas."

"Tourism is very important to Gladewater as it brings visitors here to our rodeo," said executive director of the Gladewater Chamber of Commerce Lois Reed. "It brings shoppers downtown to our stores."

According to rodeo director Harold Wells, the money doesn’t just go into the city, but also back to participants through scholarships.

"This year we have eight scholarship recipients for $1,000 each," Wells said. "That's the reason they started the rodeo back in 1938 to provide extra money. It won't get you through college but it sure is a good boost."

Reed says as soon as this year’s event ends, they'll automatically start planning for the next one. What’s also unique about this rodeo are its ties to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

"We have prime cowboys and cowgirls and so if they place here, they earn points, which will help them get to the national finals," Reed said.

The rodeo also brings in vendors from different areas like Ride Hard Entertainment LLC who drove all the way from Oklahoma. Owner Frank Rendon says this is their third time coming back to Gladewater and it's all because of how the rodeo and East Texans treat him. 

"It's a great opportunity especially when they keep asking you back," Rendon said. "Obviously we did a good job with everybody and they liked us. I’d like to say we're here for the long haul."

Even with multiple events happening this weekend Reed said they are not concerned about a low turnout. 

"Our rodeo is one of the most respected activities and we don't think of it as competition," Reed said. "Because Friday and Saturday (tickets) will be sold out."

The rodeo is set to continue throughout the weekend with multiple other scheduled events. 


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