Edmee CR Hasler
Southwest Virginia’s favorite family-friendly event was back to entertain. In spite of the rainy, cold, weekend weather, the 56th Salem Championship Stampede Rodeo went off without a hitch and with huge success.
On Jan. 5,6 and 7, the Salem Civic Center was filled with almost 10,000 spectators who had come to see exciting events such as, bronc busting, barrel racing, bull riding, and mutton busting. Professional cowboys and cowgirls, many from Virginia, competed in rodeo’s most popular events, sanctioned by the International Professional Rodeo Association.
The rodeo was held Friday and Saturday nights as well as Sunday afternoon. Wendy Delano, director of facilities at the Salem Civic Center, said the rodeo sold out on Saturday night, “It’s fantastic,” she said.
“Southwestern Virginia has always been good to us and last year was no exception,” said Rodeo Spokesman Kevin DeBusk. “We had three sell-out performances, and we expect the same in 2024. We are so excited to be continuing the tradition of starting the rodeo season off at the Salem Civic Center.”
Spectator Kaitlin Delano, and her mother, Wendy, have been coming for over a decade. “The bulls are my favorite part and they’re huge” said Kaitlin, “It’s all about the bulls.”