As the nation’s top cowboys and cowgirls began converging at the Lancaster Event Center earlier this week, Saturday offered them a chance to experience the heart of the city.
Competitors from the National High School Finals Rodeo and their families gathered on Saturday night at the Railyard for Explore Lincoln Day event, which featured country music, a lasso competition, food trucks and drinks.
The event was designed to introduce the Haymarket to visiting families, as well as to give locals the opportunity to see what the rodeo is all about, said Lyn Wineman, marketing coordinator for the Lancaster County Event Center Fairgrounds.
“The event center is on the other side of town which is a great location for the event, but we want the rodeo crowd to come around and see the best we have to offer here,” she declared.
This year’s rodeo brings together 1,700 competitors from 42 states, as well as Canada, Mexico and Australia, to compete in 17 different rodeo events. A total of 30,000 people are expected to travel to Lincoln for the event.
Event organizers said some selling points for Lincoln to host the rodeo included its central location, hotel capacity for family members of competitors, and the ability to hold it in a new location, as the final finals all took place in Wyoming.
The event has taken place in Nebraska before, but has never been in Lincoln. Wineman said she thinks Lincoln is a great choice for the event.