The Wise County Sheriff’s Posse has announced it will not put on the Youth Fair rodeo this year.
Nevertheless, the show will go on.
Zane Lasater of Decatur has agreed to stage the event, which is scheduled for March 7-8.
The former Posse member said he’s stepped in to “keep the youth involved with rodeo.” He plans to give any proceeds from the event to the Youth Fair Committee.
“It’s for the youth and that’s where I want to keep it,” he said. “I’m not doing it for my benefit or anybody else’s.”
Posse President Russell Stephens said his group can’t afford to put on the event.
“We can’t afford to put on the Youth Fair rodeo since our revenue has been shut off,” he said. “It’s about an $8,000 expense that we can’t afford. We have no revenue whatsoever.”
The Posse, which previously had a long-term lease with the county for the fairgrounds, made money by renting the facility to other organizations. But the county did not renew the Posse’s lease last year and took possession of the grounds.
Youth Fair board president Evan Culpepper said he was notified Monday that the Posse would not put on the rodeo. With just five weeks until the event, it didn’t leave much time for another party to put anything together.
“I had talked to Zane a while back,” said Culpepper, “and when I found out yesterday, I contacted him again. He called me (Tuesday morning) and said he’d made arrangements, he’d do it. At least we have a rodeo going on.”
Time is short, but Lasater is trying to nail down the event list, and he’s hoping to find sponsors.
“It’ll be a lot of work to get it done,” he said, “but we’ll get there.”
To sponsor the rodeo or volunteer during the event, call Lasater at 940-210-0050 or Frieda Haley at 940-627-6158.