Hastings, Neb., rodeo celebrates 25 years | TheFencePost.com
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Hastings, Neb., rodeo celebrates 25 years

Ruth Nicolaus

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Two raffles will be held commemorating the 25th anniversary of the rodeo. A handmade quilt and a Henry Golden Boy rifle, with the Oregon Trail Rodeo logo engraved on its stock will be raffled off. Raffle tickets are available at the Adams County Fairgrounds office (402.462.3247).

Tickets go on sale in early August for the rodeo and can be purchased at the Adams Co. Fairgrounds in advance or at the gate. They are $20 for stadium seating, $15 for reserve seating, and $10 for general admission. Tickets for children ages 6-12 are $5 for general admission; in the stadium and reserve seating, children pay the same price as adults.

For more information, visit the website at AdamsCountyFairgrounds.com or call 402.462.3247.

It’s a quarter of a century old, but it’s still young at heart. The Oregon Trail Rodeo turns 25 years old this year, when it returns Aug. 26-28 to the Adams County Fairgrounds in Hastings, Neb.

The rodeo started in 1992 by a group of Hastings and area men: Rich Asmus, Jack Friend, Willis Hunt, Wes Keebler, Stan McMahon, Luwane Nelson, Darrel Stromer and Ken Tilley.

And 25 years later, it’s still going strong.

It wasn’t the first time Hastings had been home to a rodeo. A rodeo was held at the fairgrounds in the early 1960s, but it eventually fizzled out. In 1992, it was reborn as the Labor Day Jamboree. A year later, it got the moniker it holds today: the Oregon Trail Rodeo.

This year’s rodeo features plenty of fun for fans. The annual Tough Enough to Wear Pink night will be Aug, 27, where funds will be raised for cancer patients at the Morrison Cancer Center. In the last 10 years, $25,200 have been raised for the Morrison Cancer Center.

The annual Tough Enough to Run with the Bulls will be Aug. 27. The race includes a 5K and 10K, plus a one mile race for the kids.

Whiskey Bent will follow the rodeo on Aug. 27, and there will be a free barbecue from 3-5 p.m. for all rodeo ticket holders on Aug. 28.

The Oregon Trail Rodeo has paved the way for more rodeos to come to Hastings, committee chairman Nate Allen said.

“Bringing in the entertainment of a rodeo created a whole lot of other opportunities,” he said. “Since the (pro) rodeo began, we have hosted the high school state finals (rodeo) for fourteen years. I don’t think we would have ever done that without the experience of putting on a pro rodeo.”

It’s also brought a college rodeo team to Hastings College. The college instituted its first rodeo team in 2008 and has hosted a college rodeo at the fairgrounds for the past four years

“You had the right players, and the facilities involved, and now there are two rodeo events in Hastings due to the pro rodeo,” Allen said. “For those forefathers, to start what they did, and have the vision, to what it has parlayed into, is amazing.” ❖


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