Rodeo coming to West Palm Beach

Expected to have one million dollar impact

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - West Palm Beach is getting ready to host its own rodeo.

Tens of thousands of people are expected, revving up the local economy.

Cowboys and cowgirls from our area are saying, yeehaw!

Sarah Brown, a promoter for the West Palm Beach Rodeo, says this rodeo is expected to have a one million dollar impact in our area.

Best of all, with all of the equestrians in this region, it'll bring out the cowboy or cowgirl in all of us.

It definitely is exciting for Tom DiRocco of Royal Palm Beach. DiRocco wears Wrangler jeans and his cowboy boots are scuffed up pretty well.

He is also really proud of his cowboy belt buckle. DiRocco points to his belt and says, "That's my Cheyenne grand daddy of them all belt buckle."

DiRocco is a former architect, turned retailer, turned rodeo roadie.

He explains that he and his wife, Suzanne, "...wound up buying an rv and traveling for four months and following every rodeo we could."

Suzanne DiRocco rattles off the cities, "Gillette, Wyoming; Colorado Springs, Cheyenne."

But now, with the rodeo coming to West Palm Beach for three days in November, Tom and Suzanne are ready to take their backyard riding to the big ring.

Approximately 30,000 people are expected at this year's rodeo. Since last year's event was the first one in 18 years, organizers started out small and it sold out fast.

Brown talks about last year's event. She says, "It started just wanting to bring something fun. It turned out to helping small busineses in the area."

DiRocco adds, "Restaurants, novelty stores, the whole economy as a microcosm is going to be affected by this in our "little" West Palm Beach, Florida."

"Little" West Palm Beach will be hosting a lot of bull riding, calf roping, bronc riding and other family friendly events. And who knew this?

DiRocco says, "The American cowboy was born in Florida."

It turns out, cattle raising started in what is now Mexico and Florida. So we're returning to our roots.

DiRocco says, "I'm 65 years old.  And I get to throw my leg over this horse and enjoy this lifestyle."

And this cowboy will get to live out his passion.

The rodeo is coming to the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach on November 18-20th.

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