story by Siri Stevens Tony Keeton started his company, Rockin’ K Rodeo in 2017. It’s not his only full time job. Tony has worked for […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Rodeo Committee
story by Lindsay Welchel
Everything is a well-oiled machine when it comes to putting on the North Washington Rodeo held in Petrolia, Pa., but it’s perhaps not surprising, because the rodeo has not only been around since 1959, it’s put on by the North Washington Volunteer Fire Department, where a person’s duty is embraced.
“Every body has their job and every body has been doing a great job of it, doing their part, and we are well on our way ready for a rodeo,” explains Dave Hazlet, who came on as chairman of the rodeo committee this year.
The rodeo is gearing up for the 2015 event Aug. 18-22.
This year, Dave, who is also president of the fire department, helped to start the new 2015 committee and assigned various roles to each volunteer. “When I took the chairman thing I put people in charge of the grounds, the booth concessions, the electric…” he says.
There is much work to be done when it comes to the rodeo. There is a parade on Monday night, a dinner during each performance and plenty of maintenance work leading up to the event.
“Many years ago they bought 20 acres of ground and put bleachers in, they’re wooden planked bleachers we have to keep maintaining them, and we’re actually working on a plan now to put aluminum seating in. There’s a lot of work taking care of the grounds,” Dave says.
They’ve been an IPRA sanctioned rodeo for the last 10 or so years and have been blessed with great contestants because of it, Dave explains.
This year, the committee has redone their website [nwvfd.com], begun online tickets sales and have gotten more advertising going. “We have a Facebook page out there now, we’re trying to keep up with the times,” Dave laughs.
All of their efforts seem to be paying off. They’ve gained sponsors and, not counting last year which was bad weather, the year before saw attendance over 10,000 people. The rodeo was voted a Top-5 Outdoor Rodeo for the IPRA in 2014.
“It is a great fundraiser for the fire department, it always has been, the community backs it pretty well,” Dave emphasizes. Beyond chairman of the rodeo, Dave is also a fan plain and simple.
“I have lived in that area my whole life, and the rodeo has been going on all that time and since the beginning I’ve missed it [only] three nights,” he says and adds, “It is the greatest show on dirt, because the audience participation is a big part of what makes the rodeo good. They get into the barrel racing, they get into the bull riding, all of that is what it takes to make a great rodeo.”
Rawhide Rodeo is the event’s stock contractor. They’ll also have specialty acts this year like Jerry Wayne Olsen and his famous horse Justin Boots. IPRA Clown of the Year Dusty Myers will be on hand to entertain and the North Washington Volunteer Fire Department will surely have all hands on deck to make the event a success.