A LITTLE HISTORY OF THE LEA PARK RODEO
The Lea Park Rodeo will have been held consecutively now for 66 years this coming June; however, there were rodeos held at the Lea Park location in the late 1920’s and have continued there since.
In 1927, the combined effort of Judge Hines, E.A. Meiklejohn and Charlie Barnes produced one of the first rodeos in the area which drew cowboys from near and far. In 1927 and 1928 the saddle bronc riding was won by Jack Shields from Round-Up, Montana. The admission to these early rodeos was 50 cents per person. The rodeo continued for 3 years under the management of the “Big 3” as they were called back then.
Andy Gibson then promoted 2 rodeos, followed by 2 or 3 years promotion by V.C. (Vernie) and Dewey Hines. The last rodeo was around 1934 with nothing held again until 1955.
In 1955 the Lea Park Rodeo again surfaced under the guidance of Dewey Hines and Gerald West. It has continued annually from that year to the now 66th 2020 Lea Park Rodeo.
Traditionally the rodeos were held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until 1960 when they were changed to Fridays and Saturdays. Lea Park was to become the first Saturday – Sunday rodeo in the early 1960’s.
Lea Park has set several standards over the years. The popular Wild Ride was started here and is now being held in many rodeos throughout the country. Chute music was also a first that was introduced at Lea Park.
With the donation of time, dedication and the work of all the Lea Park rodeo committee and organizers, as well as the outstanding community support over the years, the Lea Park Rodeo is proud to be staging the 66th consecutively held rodeo on June 5th, 6th & 7th of 2020.