The Canon City Rodeo needs emergency funds to repair damage from Sunday night’s storm.
Thousands of anxious fans are expected to fill the grandstands and hundreds of cowboys will take action in the arena, as the Royal Gorge Rodeo prepares for a huge milestone.
"This will be our 140th rodeo. So we've got grandparents, great uncles and aunts that are bringing their kids to come and see the rodeo,” said Julie Lang, Secretary of the Canon City Rodeo Association.
It’s a century-old tradition that was threatened by a recent storm.
Seventy mph winds left thousands of dollars in damage. Powerful winds tore tin roofs off the horse stalls and the grandstands. The storm even tore power poles in half, shutting off power that has yet to be restored.
"We just put up all new light polices for the exterior lights, so we would have exterior lights...$5,700, and it took all the lights down. We got to replace 95 feet of wiring...two poles broke in half,” said the president of the Canon City Rodeo Association, Boyd Canterbury.
Now organizers are trying to keep the rodeo alive by asking the community for emergency donations. The non-profit needs the community to come together in order to make sure the show goes on.
"We don't care if it's money, your time, material, we will appreciate anything right now,” said Lang.
Officials hope to not only repair the grounds, but remodel the over 70-year-old structures that are falling apart.
"We had about 5,600 people at our rodeo last year. So we're looking to expand that. I think a lot of the upgrades we are trying to do brings in the people,” said Lang.
Officials say it’s especially vital right now because they are in the middle of transitioning between insurances, so nothing was covered. And they can’t get grant money help for a couple of months.
The 140-year-old Royal Gorge Rodeo and the well-known Blossom Weekend is May 4 and 5.
You can drop off your donation or mail your check to The Great Western Bank at 110 S 9th St. Canon City, CO 81212.
You can also donate by credit card using Pay Pal through the rodeo’s website: canoncityrodeoassocation.com.