Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo’s 91st annual event begins

Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo’s 91st Granddaddy of Em’ All began Thursday to thousands of spectators at Mosaic Arena in Arcadia.

The annual rodeo event brings millions of dolars to the local economy, an estimated $2.9 million this year.

“We figured about $40 per person that they’re spending here on something, whether it be gas or at restaurants or shopping at our downtown antiques district or something like that,” said Katherine Marks, executive director of the rodeo.

Organizers told WINK News the rodeo boosts tourism numbers, about 8,000 visitors from out of state.

“The rodeo has always been a big economic supporter of DeSoto County,” Marks said.

The new stadium is another draw for visitors.

“We started out in the old coliseum before this was built,” Michael Winterman said. “And we enjoy coming up here, especially when we saw our tax dollars at work.”

DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office shared a traffic warning Thursday. Expect delays near State Road 70 and U.S. 17 until the end of the event.

The rodeo ends Sunday.

“The first thing that comes to mind is history and tradition,” Announcer Greg Simas said. “And in this country, that’s slowly fading away. And so for 91 years to be celebrated this week, it’s just something that’s few and far between.”

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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