Rodeo parade returning this year

The parade is on again.After a year's absence, the Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo will have a parade — at a cooler time.“One problem with the parade on Thursday afternoon was the heat this time of year,” said Chad Wash, rodeo association board member. “This year, we've put the parade back in, but moved it to Saturday morning when it's cooler.”The rodeo opens Thursday, June 21, and ends Saturday, June 23 with nightly performances at the Big Spring Rodeo Bowl.This year marks the 79th edition of the annual event, making it one of the longest-running rodeos in the nation. Featuring the nation's top cowboy and cowgirl performers in the arena and country star Aaron Watson on stage, the event is one of the most popular activities in the Crossroads area. Gates open at 7 each evening with the grand entry to get under way at 8. Tickets will be $10 for adults and $6 for children in advance and $12 and $8 at the gate. Box seats are available for $250.Specialty acts this year will include Keith Isley — perennial winner of the Coors Man in the Can competition, Comedy Act of the Year and Clown of the Year. He has taken home those awards for the past three years. Also performing will be the highly acclaimed 24-member Santa Rosa Palomino Club.Carr Pro Rodeo will be providing livestock and Mike Mathis will return as announcer.Saturday's rodeo parade will begin at 10 a.m. and take a familiar route — north on Main Street near State National Bank, west on Third and south on Scurry. Among the participants will be the Santa Rosa Palomino Club and Hardin-Simmons Six White Horses.“Anyone who would like to participate is welcome,” said Quail Dobbs, rodeo association member and longtime supporter and performer. “They need to line up about 30 minutes early.”Rodeo tickets are available at the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, Ward's Boot and Saddle, Western Bank, Compass Bank, Wells Fargo, Citizens Federal Credit Union, State National Bank, Lonestar State Bank and H-E-B. Tickets for Watson's Saturday night show, which begins at 9:30 p.m., are $20 per person. The opening band will be the popular Lenorah Band. Neil Olivas will perform Friday evening. Tickets for that show are $5.In conjunction with the rodeo, Heritage Museum will be hosting its annual fund-raiser, Legends and Legacies, June 19. Tickets are $5 each and prizes are $1,000, $500 and $100. To make reservations or purchase tickets, call 432-267-8255.