Chambers Rodeo exceeds expectations in 24th year

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, September 22, 2020

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LaFAYETTE — The Chambers County Sheriff’s Rodeo is usually held in the spring. It got pushed back to the third weekend in September this year because of COVID-19, and there was some apprehension with the turnout because of the change. Whether it be spring or fall, the turnout for these rodeos is really good.

“It was great,” Sheriff Sid Lockhart said of this year’s attendance. “We weren’t expecting a big turnout for Friday because of high school football games in the local area, but it was better than we expected. The turnout Saturday night was fantastic, one of the best crowds we have ever had. It really helped that the weather was so good. It was overcast but cool.”

Lockhart said he doesn’t have a final total for this year’s fundraising for the sheriff’s department but is highly optimistic it will be good.

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Needs to be met this year include security cameras for deputies and equipment to outfit new patrol cars.

This was the 24th straight year a sheriff’s rodeo has taken place in Chambers County. The first fundraising purchased weapons for the deputies. Before this, the deputies had to buy their own guns.

“These rodeos have made a big difference for our department,” Lockhart said. “We have been able to acquire so many needed items over the years that didn’t have to come out of the county budget. We have gotten a dive boat and a rescue boat for deep water rescues. We have gotten body cameras and car cameras, and bulletproof vests for our deputies. We have gotten equipment for our helicopter, and we have been able to pay for training for our deputies. There are just so many ways these rodeos help us. The rodeo has been a good thing for Chambers County and a great thing for the sheriff’s office.”

Lockhart said that the planning is underway for the 2021 rodeo, to be held in April or May.

“Right now we are looking for some really good entertainment for the crowd,” he said. “In past years, we have had the Clydesdales, motorcycle jumpers and skydivers who would come down into the area bringing the flag with them. It’s a good draw to have some really good entertainment, and we’d like to have that next year.”