Kiwanis forced to cancel rodeo
By LPR Staff
After months of negotiation and discussion, the Lockhart Kiwanis were recently forced to suspend a Lockhart tradition.
For more than 40 years, the Kiwanis have hosted rodeo events at the J.C. Schneider Arena on FM 20. However, because of wear-and-tear on the arena and a lack of funds to replace bleachers, the Kiwanis wer
e forced to cancel the rodeo this year.
“We have a 99-year lease on the property with the State of Texas,” said Kiwanis president Ken Doran on Tuesday. “Some time ago, we received a letter requiring us to make certain capital improvements before we could hold the rodeo. Although we negotiated [with the State], we finally came to the conclusion that there was just not enough money in the coffers to do what they want done.”
Among other requirements handed down by the State, Doran said Kiwanis would have to tear down and completely replace the bleachers at the arena. The lowest estimate the club received for that repair, he said, was $30,000.
The State also asked that Kiwanis bring the arena up to code in terms of electricity and plumbing.
“At first, they gave us a specific list of requirements,” Doran said. “Through the course of our negotiations, it came down to them saying “just bring it up to code.” It was up to code when it was built, but things have changed, and now there are liability issues that the State just isn”t willing to embrace.”
Many of the needed repairs, Doran said, are simply due to lack of usage and the age of the arena structures.
“Most of the maintenance we do is in preparation for an event,” he said. “And when you only do one or two events a year, it”s just hard to maintain.”
Doran also said the growing cost of hosting a quality rodeo factored into the decision.
“To give people the type of rodeo entertainment they want to see, you have to get the best producers to draw the talent you want,” he said. “And that”s getting more and more expensive.”
Because the rodeo is held mainly as a fundraiser for Kiwanis scholarships, Doran suggested club members refocus their efforts – at least for the time being.
Instead of the rodeo in connection with Chisholm Trail Roundup this year, Kiwanis will host the “5K Stampede” foot race.
“We”ve had great cooperation from the coaches at the schools,” Doran said. “And since this community takes so much pride in it”s track and cross country programs, we thought that a 5K walk and run was a good fit. To keep with the theme and idea of CTR and the rodeo, we decided to call it the Stampede.”
Doran said the Stampede, which will be held during CTR on Saturday morning, will be finished before the CTR Grand Parade starts at 10 a.m.
The race will begin and end at Lockhart Junior High School, 1015 City Line Road, at 8 a.m. Registration will be $15 for individuals and $12 per head for groups of 10 or more. Online registration will be available beginning May 1, and registration will be available until race time.
For more information on the Lockhart Kiwanis 5K Stampede, call Carl Ohlendorf at (512) 398-2318 or Nicole Burnett at (512) 398-2421, and watch future editions of the Lockhart Post-Register.
However, Doran said the community should not give up on the rodeo altogether.
“Just because we can”t move forward with rodeo this year, doesn”t mean we aren”t still looking at it,” he said. “We still have a committee working on resolving the issues. We have no desire to see it go away entirely. We just needed to change our focus this year.”