STAMFORD, Texas - The Texas Cowboy Reunion is a Stamford institution. The event has drawn crowds from across the country for more than 80 years.
"We probably stimulate more money in four days for the community than any other time of the year by far," Dub Harrison, president of the Stamford Art Foundation, said.
The Foundation's auction has been a part of the tradition for 40 years. The proceeds benefit The West Texas Rehabilitation Center.
"It's one of the largest and oldest art shows still participating in western art in the State of Texas," Harrison said.
But everything revolves around the rodeo. Many of the events originated at the reunion.
Kevin McCright, who has been the rodeo events chairman for the past eight years, said the rodeo is huge for the town.
"This is the biggest event we have," McCright said. "It's really the event for Stamford. Our population will more than double anytime we have the rodeo."
Motels are full, restaurants are full, the gas stations are full--they bring a lot of money in," Rick Phemister, owner of Heads or Tails Hats, said.
Phemister has been selling at the event for 33 years and said he wouldn't miss the reunion for anything.
"It's just something you need to experience and your children need to experience," Phemister said. "It's possible that sometime in the future there won't be such a thing as a rodeo."
Dustin Moore has been coming to the rodeo since he was six years old.
"It's a great town but this thing does bring it alive," Moore said. "It grows like crazy, and the businesses, it's good for everything around here."
Organizers said there's a little something for everyone at the reunion.
"Come on out," McCright said. "It's a good time, a good family-oriented function."
"It's like a herd of turtles pulling for the creek," Harrison said. "They better get on out here 'cause it's getting crowded."
This is the 83rd Annual Texas Reunion. It would have been the 84th but organizers took a year off during World War II.
For a full schedule of events, click here.
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