Welcome to Nebraska's Big Rodeo
Rodeo returns to Burwell this year much as it did in 1921 when Homer C. Stokes started the town's first-ever rodeo in 1921 with wild horse race, bronc riding and calf roping.
The facilities at Nebraska's Big Rodeo are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, so care is taken to try and keep the event very similar to the way it was presented in the 1920's. The facilities boast one of the largest outdoor rodeo areas in the world, so the rodeo committee tries to use it to it's fullest potential.
Few rodeo shows offer action both on the track and in the arena simultaneously. Events like clown acts, the dinner bell derby, a mounted flag presentation and much more may be happening at the same time as regular events take place in the arena. Many visitors say they must return just to see what they missed the first time.
Nebraska's Big Rodeo and the Garfield County Fair feature facilities which capture the rustic charm and importance of the annual event. The rodeo and fair are held each year on a sprawling 40 acres of grounds, and have plenty of room to accommodate the growing needs of such a popular event. Features of the facility are:
· One of the world's largest outdoor arenas.
· 3/4 mile track surrounding the arena.
· Original covered grandstands built by the Garfield County Ag Society.
· Ten bucking chutes, roping chutes, newly installed pens and sorting corrals.
· Outdoor dance pavilion.
· 4-H Extension building, animal exhibits and barns, and continuous youth shows.
· An established midway with permanent stands and a large community building.
· Nostalgic ticket office and booths.
· Centrally located on Highway 11, near the City of Burwell.
· Beautiful grounds which are recognized throughout the country and which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2006 crews worked for several weeks to paint and refinish several areas at the fairground including the North covered grandstands which appear in their signature red and white colors. In 2010 crews again began a major construction project. A new crowsnest was added and Skybox seating, giving fans an up close view of the action going on in the arena. The Rodeo Board and community groups work year-round to maintain and add to the beauty of their fairgrounds.