Rodeo brings money, visitors and cowboys to Jackson - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Rodeo brings money, visitors and cowboys to Jackson

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Not only is the rodeo entertaining, but it is also a show that brings a $7 million impact to the capital city. Not only is the rodeo entertaining, but it is also a show that brings a $7 million impact to the capital city.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Dust off your boots and saddle up, it's Dixie National Rodeo time.Thursday night was the big kick off. Mike Mathis has been the voice of the rodeo for more than 20 years. He says he always looks forward to hearing the stories of the rodeo experience being passed from generation to generation.

"This is the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi," said announcer Mathis. "If they've never been before then their life is fixing to get a lot better. If they will come. Number one this is a rodeo that tries to be there for everyone. This is a rodeo that has the best talent from cowboys, livestock and entertainers but with that it's built into a show."

Not only is the rodeo entertaining, but it is also a show that brings a $7 million impact to the capital city.

"It's a big impact, probably much more than the $7 million. If you [consider visitors from] all the interstates and roads all over the state of Mississippi bringing people in," explained Billy Orr with the Mississippi State Fair Commission.

The traditional wagon train made its way through town Thursday, and visitors from several states make their way into the metro for the weekend events.

"It's really big for the restaurants and the motels in Jackson or in the area. Really Brandon, Pearl, Clinton that area," said Orr.

Boots and More is one of the businesses where cowboys cash out.

"We see a lot more business than we do any other time of the year. It's about like Christmas and the fair combined," said Willie English.

The store says they also get a lot of repeat business from rodeo visitors.

"We're right here, so they don't have to leave [or] go very far. They can leave a horse tied to a trailer outside or anything and just run over here. It makes it a lot more convenient," explained English.

The rodeo will run through Feb. 17.

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SIDEBAR: Opening night of rodeo

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Wagon trains began arriving in Jackson Thursday, headed for the Dixie National Rodeo and Livestock Show.
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