LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After canceling last year for the first time since World War II, the ABC Pro Rodeo is back for 2021.
The event is moving to the Mallet Event Center in Levelland, until the Lubbock County Expo Center is completed.
2021 Arena Director Ray Short says even though things will look different, he’s excited to open the chute for the 78th annual event.
“It just, it tugs at you, just because it’s a tradition for this area. We’re excited. I’m ready to get it going and have a good time,” Short said.
Kick-off festivities start Saturday, March 27.
They’ll be hosting an IBCA-sanctioned state championship barbecue cook-off, for the first time, with forty teams signed up. There will also be a cornhole tournament, silent auction and a dance with live music from the Spur 327 band.
2021 Barbecue Chairman Scott Taylor says complimentary fajita plates will be served and you can buy a drink from the cash bar.
“Everything we do is to raise money to help the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lubbock. We were trying our best to figure out how we could keep our donations up like we have in years past. So, we had to get a little creative,” Taylor said.
The Mallet Event Center has less than half the capacity the Coliseum usually provided. Because of that, it’s mostly reserved seating, so Short says to grab your tickets soon.
“Our sponsors help put the rodeo on, our fans are what pays the way for the kids,” Short said.
While it’s in a new location, it’s not the organization’s first rodeo.
It’s raised more than $1.5 million for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lubbock in its history-spanning three quarters of a century.
“It’s just good, clean, wholesome fun and it benefits a great cause,” Taylor said.
In another first, the rodeo will be a week-long event, with Mutton Bustin’ and stand-alone barrel racing set for early next week.
The PRCA performances begin Thursday night, April 1. This year, there’s a record breaking 460 entries.
“It’s the best show on dirt. The cowboys that come here are the same ones that are, this is just a steppingstone to get to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas,” Short said.
Visit ABC Pro Rodeo’s website to view the full schedule and purchase tickets.