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TEXARKANA, Ark. – The parade that stretched through downtown this past Saturday was just the kickstart to one of the biggest community celebrations for Texarkana.
The Four States Fair and Rodeo brings both the Texas and Arkansas sides together for the 10-day exposition, highlighted by the rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20-Saturday, Sept. 22. With it comes a world-class showcase of athleticism and competition with a tip of the hat to the Western lifestyle.
Texarkana’s rodeo is a top draw for many of rodeo’s top stars. The large purse is an attractive feature for cowboys and cowgirls, especially late in the ProRodeo season, which ends Sept. 30. Many are chasing every dollar they can in hopes of advancing to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December – only the top 15 contestants on the money list in each event qualify for the NFR.
“Texarkana was an important win for me to make the NFR,” said bareback rider Mason Clements, who competed at the finale for the first time last year.
While the money is vital, another attractive feature is Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, which produces the annual event at the Four States Fairgrounds. Carr has been recognized as one of the elite livestock producers ProRodeo and has been nominated five times for PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year.
“I think Pete Carr has a fabulous rodeo company, and everybody on his staff puts on a wonderful rodeo,” said Lisa Barr, vice president of the fair and rodeo. “It’s professional, and the crew just works great with us.
“When they get to town, they take the pressure off us. You don’t have to worry about things or if everything’s in place. They take care of it all and produce an outstanding rodeo.”
Besides the amazing animals in the Carr herd, the company features the best in the business as far as personnel. That includes several that have been recognized as nominees in their respective assignments: Secretary Sandy Gwatney, bullfighter Clay Heger and pickup man Jeremy Willis are just a few of the top hands on the Carr crew.
This year’s festivities will include the antics of J.J. Harrison, who has been nominated for Clown of the Year. From Walla Walla, Wash., Harrison has worked dozens of major rodeos over his career.
“They are all amazing,” Barr said. “They do everything that we need, and they are just above and beyond a typical production company. Every person is part of our fair family, and we’re always thrilled to have them.
“Pete has a great personality to be in his position. He’s got a calming presence around you. We’ve all worked together for so long that he and his crew fit right in and do a great job for us.”
When everything is mixed together, it’s no wonder that Texarkana’s rodeo is a major drawing card for contestants and fairgoers.