Get your cowboy hat and boots ready. Thousands from across the state and nation are heading to Lafayette for the annual Real Cowboys Association Southwest Black Rodeo that's taking over the Cajundome this weekend.
There's going to be an invasion of cowboys here at the Cajundome for what's being called
“The Baddest Show on Dirt”. Members of the Real Cowboy Association are setting up for this huge event that began in Lafayette almost six years ago. “I started in the South, in East Texas, and then we started coming East and a lot of people told me about Lafayette. As soon as we got here, it became a big family event,” said RCA CEO Frank Edwards.
The event brings in families from all walks of life, but is special to African-American Culture. “We're trying to tell people about the cowboys of color, the Spanish and African-American cowboys. A lot of cowboys that did a lot of things in the West,” said Edwards. The thousands that are anticipated to attend will see bull riding, calf roping, even junior calf roping for kids. Event sponsor, KNEK's Jackson Brown, says it's a major event in the hub city.
“This is very unique and it's something that I compare to like the Bayou Classic. It's our classic here in Lafayette,” said Program Director Jackson Brown. Since attendance at the rodeo increases so much each, organizers have had to expand the day's events.
“Lafayette has gotten so huge, we have the tailgate with thousands of people. zydeco bands will even perform out front,” said Edwards. A variety of performers have taken on the big stage. This year's entertainment includes zydeco performers J-Paul and Nathan Williams Jr. “It's great, it's wonderful, I'm happy to be a part of it,” says Williams.
Over 500 cowboys from across the nation are expected, but only the top ten in each category will be allowed to move on to the evening's main event.
The rodeo will take place this Saturday, March 22nd at 7:30 p.m.