KIOWA, Colo. – Cowboy Up in Kiowa this weekend has seen record attendance numbers the last two years, but the small-town rodeo is struggling to stay afloat, event organizers said.
The rodeo, in its 24th year, is entirely run by volunteers, but volunteer numbers have declined in recent years, along with sponsorships. And the rodeo is also hoping to keep a younger generation involved with the Western tradition.
"Our industry as a whole is struggling," said Angelique Dicker, president of Cowboy Up. "Our Western industry as a whole is struggling. The cowboys, they all have full-time jobs. They do this on the weekend to supplement income. They do it because they love the Western way of life. They do it because they have children they want to grow up in this Western way of life, instead of on video games."
More information about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities with Cowboy Up in Kiowa can be found on the rodeo's website.