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The 2013 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Thrives, Expands Youth Programs

4/3/2013

By Tiffany Chaney

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In 2012, the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo placed fifth on the MCW Top Fifty North American Fairs list. The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo is a popular Texas staple and with excellent weather, 2013 proved to be a banner year.  The show ran from February 7-24, 2013 and attendance climbed to 1,665,747 compared with 1,510,457 last year.

Admission prices remained unchanged at $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for children and children 2 and under free. Concert prices also remained steady ranging from $10.00 to $75.00.

The rodeo and concert series is the big draw of the show. A performance ticket includes world class PRCA Rodeo followed by a concert.
Twenty-one performances are annually given at the AT&T Center. The 2013 line-up included such big names as Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, One Republic, and Austin Mahone. The rodeo lasts just over two hours with events occurring in the following order: grand entry, bareback riding, steer wrestling, mutton busting, team roping, saddle bronc riding, calf scramble, tie down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. After the last bull is bucked, there is a brief intermission followed by the music. The concert lasts up to an hour and a half.

The SA Rodeo partners with the Boys' and Girls' Scouts to provide educational events for youth, drawing hundreds of scouts on opening Sunday. "We provide an educational and fun experience for them and they have the opportunity to earn a patch," Pam Rew-Colaw, Assistant Executive Director of  the SA Rodeo, told Carnival Warehouse.

The educational events offer fun for the whole family. Sponsored by the Texas Farm Bureau, offerings include a petting zoo, pony rides, and educational opportunities to learn about farm life and products. The Dairy Center provides information on all aspects of milk production, dairy products, and the roles the play in agriculture. An attendee can also see a live milking demonstration. The Wildlife Expo affords the opportunity to participate and learn about activities such as bird watching, nature photography, camping, hiking, kayaking, fishing, hunting, cooking and more.

Wade Shows, one of the leading carnival operators in the nation, provides a variety of rides for the family. Frank Zaitshik, the show's owner, said ride revenue was up over 30% thanks to the great weather and promotions.  He also cited gains in purchases of the company's premium Gold Access program at the Rodeo as another positive sign.

Other interesting attractions included Wells Fargo's Horse Discovery where visitors can learn about horse breeding, play interactive games, and look at real horses. The U.S. Army also sponsors an Army Interactive Zone where participants can safely test their physical strength and flexibility.

"We added a youth clay shooting competition that was highly successful [this year]. I believe we will continue to develop and encourage skill and knowledge-based competitions for the youth of Texas along with our traditional stock show and horse show programs," said Rew-Colaw.

The SA Rodeo is making a greater effort to incorporate "going green,"
by encouraging commuting through car-pooling and public transportation.
As parking has been challenging for the growing show, they also incorporated a park and ride system on the weekends.

For those that may have never been to the SA Rodeo, prospective visitors had the opportunity to view a one hour TV special on KSAT 12 to learn more about the show. The $900,000 advertising budget was allocated about 50% television, 15% radio, 15% print, 7% internet, 7% outdoor promotions, and 7% citywide public relations activities. The most successful medium, according to Pam Rew-Colaw, was television and volunteers exciting individuals through word of mouth. Social media tools also proved advantageous for quick updates on possible changes and upcoming events.

The 2013 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo thrived. For those that may have missed the show, Pam Rew-Colaw has provided our readers with a link to the one hour special and the SA Rodeo YouTube channel to get a feel of the fun.

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