Lawton Rangers will celebrate 75th annual rodeo this year
As the Lawton Rangers celebrate their 75th Annual Rodeo, the group has decided to bring back the downtown birthday/rodeo parade for the special occassion and they are asking businesses, civic groups and anyone else to prepare an entry for the parade and they are hoping some will mark the occassion with floats.
The parade will be held on Aug. 10, the final day of the Rangers Rodeo, and as a means to beat the heat, the parade will begin at 10 a.m. The rodeo actually begins on Aug. 7 with performances on four straight nights, all at 7:30 p.m. at the LO Ranch Arena east of Lawton.
"We have received a good many requests to bring the parade back and since this is a rather special rodeo for us, we agreed to try it again," Rangers spokesman Wayne Bales said. "The Chamber (Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and the City of Lawton have said they wanted the parade and are going to help us as much as they can."
The Rangers decided to stop the parade a couple of years ago when crowds declined as well as they were struggling to get entries in the parade, especially mounted entries.
Bales said that because there are fewer riding clubs these days and because of the high cost of fuel, fewer groups travel to other rodeo parades but the Rangers are trying to recruit some groups to come help them celebrate their special milestone rodeo.
"The Canadian County Belles are coming to the rodeo that final night and we hope they will make the parade as well," Bales said. "They are a mounted drill team that competes and performs at various events around the region. They have about 20 riders.