The Eureka High School Rodeo, which has historically taken place Memorial Day weekend, has been a proud Eureka tradition.
As the Nevada State High School Rodeo Association plans two years from now to move the National Finals to the Fourth of July weekend and the state finals to Memorial Day weekend, the Eureka High School Rodeo faces a predicament. The Eureka County Fairgrounds can not accommodate the size of the state finals.
If Eureka continues to hold its high school rodeo that weekend it would be a non-sanctioned event.
As Chairman J.J. Goicoechea noted at the most recent county commission meeting the rodeo can’t be held any sooner due to the weather and Eureka would be “most likely looking at a fall-type rodeo.”
He said his wife Sally has “worked her butt off the last two years trying to keep this thing alive” with the “last three weeks being kind of miserable getting people to step up.”
Goicoechea reached out for input on whether the commission and the community want the rodeo on Memorial Day weekend or in the fall and noted that “somebody needs to pick up the slack on this deal or we may not have a high school rodeo.”
A letter needs to be sent to the State High School Rodeo Association which will be deciding when dates will be set. A letter was sent previously by the commission saying Eureka wants Memorial Day weekend for its rodeo as it’s been for 41 years.
Commissioner Fred Etchegaray said, “It doesn’t matter to me.”
Goicoechea noted, “It’s a huge draw for this town” and fills the hotels and restaurants.
Etchegaray pointed out that the High School Alumni also came to town that weekend and that having the rodeo at another time would create “two weekends to fill beds.”
“It’s really difficult to get staffing,” Sally Goicoechea said. “I feel the community should be more apt to stepping up and pull together to give a day and a half to keep it going.”
Sally is not opposed to having it on a different weekend, but moving to a late August/September rodeo gets “a little bit tricky” with a lot of rodeos and taking into consideration local help since haying is going on and their vet business is extremely busy.
Looking at a different time, may make the Rodeo “take a couple of years off until we get some more families in because right now we have a single family” with only two spots out of thirty filled. Goicoechea said she wasn’t saying “that we are going to say good-bye for a couple of years” but said, “it is definitely a conversation we have had.”
Goicoechea noted the State High School Rodeo Association needed an answer to their request Eureka step away from the Memorial Day weekend and led a “motion to tell the state we don’t have to have it on Memorial Day weekend.”