“We’re starting a new century in Cinco de Mayo celebrations,” said Travis Combs, chair of the Liberal Cinco de Mayo Committee, “and we wanted to do something different.” While the 11th Annual Cinco de Mayo Community Celebration still includes the Cinco de Mayo Queen competition, the Princess Pageant, and the parade, the main event will be a Little Britches Rodeo at the Seward County Fairgrounds. This year, the event is titled “2014 Liberal Rodeo Fiesta.”
The Cinco de Mayo Committee has become a member of the National Little Britches Rodeo Association. “This year the celebration will involve everyone in the community by hosting a rodeo from 2 to 8 p.m. May 10 at the Seward County Fair Grounds. Contestants from ages of 5 to 18 years old are eligible to join and compete in the rodeo,” he said. Admission to the event will be a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Liberal Food Cupboard.
According to their web site, “The NLBRA offers western minded youth the opportunity to compete in rodeo while developing their self-confidence, sense of integrity, sportsmanship, and their athletic talent.
The events will include steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, breakaway roping, team roping, ribbon roping, barrel racing, goat tying, goat tail untying, trail course, pole bending and flag racing. The age groups include Little Wranglers (ages 5 to 8), Juniors (ages 9 to 13) and Seniors, (ages 14 to 18). The entry fee per event is $15. Non-members will pay an additional $25 fee to enter the rodeo. Contestants will win prizes and earn points for national competition.
The entry form is available at the Liberal Area Chamber of Commerce office, 4 Rock Island Road, or on the Cinco de Mayo website www.cincodemayoliberal.com.
The Cinco De Mayo Parade will start at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 10, with line up at the Church of Christ parking lot, 215 S. Western Ave., and proceed north on Western Ave. to end at the Seward County Fair Grounds. Parade entries are free and businesses, schools, churches, unique vehicles, non-profits and civic organizations are invited to enter their floats or vehicles. Groups may still join the parade without prior registration but must show up by 12:30 p.m. to be included.
There will be cash prizes for the parade winners. First place will win $200, second will take home $100 and third will receive $50. Winners will be announced at the Little Britches Rodeo. Parade forms are available at the Chamber office or call the office at 624-3855.
An open competition at the rodeo will be the Jalapeno Eating Contest for those who have the stomach for it. First place will be $100, second place $75 and third place $50.
“Of course any event needs sponsorships, and we have special sponsorship levels at $500, $300 and $200,” said Combs. For more information about sponsorships, contact Arturo Ponce, 620-272-3198 or Sonia Hernandez, 620-309-8479. Donations also can be mailed to: Cinco de Mayo Committee, P.O. Box 1112, Liberal, KS 67905
“One of the things that make this event so successful is that the proceeds are given back to help the community, like scholarships to Seward County Community College and Area Technical School and donations to non-profit organizations like the Seward County United Way,” Combs said. “ In the past 10 years we have been sponsoring the Cinco de Mayo Celebration, we have provided more than $50,000 in scholarships to local students in addition to the scholarships earned by our queen candidates.”
For more information about all the Cinco de Mayo events, contact the Chamber of Commerce, 624-3855 or visit the event’s web site at www.liberalcincodemayo.com.