BY ALLAN MANDELL
KILLEEN DAILY HERALD
The 69th annual Killeen PRCA Rodeo concluded its third and final night on Saturday at the Killeen Rodeo Arena.
The PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association), headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., is the largest and oldest rodeo-sanctioning body in the world. The PRCA sanctions about 600 rodeos per year.
“To have a PRCA event here in our small town of Killeen is something special,” said Deborah Lackey, a committee member and volunteer for the Killeen rodeo. “The PRCA guaranteed that our fans would see some of the top cowboys and cowgirls in the world compete.”
The three-night rodeo began Thursday, which was labeled “Military Appreciation Night.” All active military, National Guard, reserves and dependents were given free tickets and served a courtesy barbecue dinner. The Thursday-night crowd was estimated at over 4,000.
“‘Military Appreciation Night’ is special,” Lackey said. “It’s a night we get to say ‘Thank you’ to our military personnel.”
On Friday night, all city of Killeen employees were allowed free entry.
Saturday was “Educators Night.” All Killeen Independent School District, Central Texas College and Texas A&M University-Central Texas educators were allowed free entry.
On all three nights, there were plenty of kids who attended the rodeo.
“The kids are absolutely mesmerized by the bulls,” Lackey said. “And the rodeo clown is always great fun for the kids to pay attention to. The clown draws a lot of laughs.”
Lackey said volunteering her time to the rodeo is fulfilling.
“This rodeo is a money-maker for the city of Killeen and that’s a nice bonus to all of this,” she said. “I like to give my time to this and giving back to our community — and we have at least 60 other volunteers that also give of their time to make this happen. All the people on the committee donate their time, too.
“Overall, this is a great annual event for the city of Killeen.”