A Bigger Parking Lot

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One year ago, I used this space to summarize the history of Stamford’s Texas Cowboy Reunion and the importance of its legacy. I wrote how the legendary Will Rogers visited the TCR in 1935 and described it as a “real cowboy reunion…in a real cowtown.” I wrote how the TCR was designed ss something more than a rodeo. It was an all-around, multi-generation celebration of the Texas cowboy. I wrote that, in my humble opinion, this was why the TCR has persevered as many small-town rodeos have struggled or disappeared entirely.

This year, something happened at the TCR. We’ve seen growth in the last few years. Crowds have improved. Entries have increased. Presentation of the rodeo as a spectator event has improved. Facilities have been upgraded. But this year, it all escalated. On Tuesday night, the Stamford Art Foundation’s Preview Party kicked off the festivities with a record crowd of 545 people. The rodeo saw approximately 680 entries across the various events. Sponsorships eclipsed $100,000 for the first time. The grandstands were packed for Friday night’s rodeo performance. Saturday night was even bigger, with an estimated crowd of over 6,000 passing through the gates. To top it off, Saturday night’s dance with Parker McCollum broke the TCR’s all-time dance attendance record (set in 1996) with 2,652 paid attendees.

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