Baxter Black to Headline the Annual Farm-City Banquet

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Noted cowboy poet, author, former large animal veterinarian and radio personality Baxter Black has been signed by the Lamar Chamber of Commerce to headline the annual Farm-City Banquet next November 15.  Members of the chamber board confirmed the announcement during their meeting with the Prowers County Lodging Tax Panel board Tuesday afternoon, April 15.  Mark Carrigan, Kevin Swanson and chamber office manager Lisa Carder requested marketing funds from the board for a regional advertising campaign.  Dinner and entertainment or entertainment-only tickets will be available for the event this fall. 

Panel members also heard requests for advertising funds from representatives of the Holly Bluegrass Festival, Wild West BBQ Cookoff, and the LCC Antelope Stampede. 

Jill Briggs said this year’s 12th annual Bluegrass Festival will run June 13-15 at the Holly Gateway Park and as before, all events are free.  Five groups are scheduled to perform and the jam in the park will be held following a community dinner on Friday.  One local band, Freddy Darnell and Country Gold hails from Las Animas.  The remaining bands are also well known in the bluegrass musical sphere.  Briggs said upwards of 1,000 people come to Holly each year to enjoy the free concert, the only one of this nature in the entire state. 

Up to 35 teams can register for this year’s Wild West BBQ Cookoff, combined with the Cinco de Mayo festivities set for May 9 and 10th at Willow Creek Park.  This will be the second year the two events are combining their activities.  Diane Pool, Cookoff organizer, said this is the 10th year for the sanctioned BBQ which saw 27 entries last year.  “We still offer a total of $10,000 in cash prizes for the winners and over a dozen have already signed up to compete,” she said.  Pool added that the group plans to advertise on television as well as radio and printed materials this year.  Another change is that all the judges for the Cookoff now have to be sanctioned under the rules set up by the Kansas City BBQ Association.  That also means one judge for every entry for the Cookoff.  Cindy Bennett, another organizer, said plans call for a small, four-ride carnival and kids games will be offered, as well as a car show and the popular Cinco de Mayo festivities. 

Fred Sherwood represented Lamar Community College as he laid out plans for the annual Antelope Stampede set for October 2-5 this year.  The Stampede is an annual regional college rodeo held at the Prowers County Fairgrounds featuring 14 schools and up to 400 contestants from Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado.  The Stampede is by far one of the events that draw crowds to Lamar and helps put ‘heads in beds’ for local motels.  Sherwood estimated that as many as 350 rooms in Lamar are booked for the autumn competition.  All of the events funded by the Lodging Tax Panel are predicated that they will attract visitors from around the region for overnight stays in the county.  Panel funds are obtained from a 2% lodging fee assessed from the rentals of all the motel rooms in Prowers County. 

Panel members approved $6,500 for the Farm-City Banquet, $3,000 for the Holly BlueGrass Festival, $4,000 for the Wild West BBQ Cook Off and $9,500 for the LCC Antelope Stampede. 

Panel members also voted unanimously on a motion from member Doug Thrall to set aside at least $10,000 in the budget for contingency funds.  The monies used will be an immediate $5,000 now held by the Panel and another $5,000 that is anticipated as part of the quarterly payments from the state later this month.

By Russ Baldwin


Brought to you by: Colorado East Bank & Trust

Brought to you by: Colorado East Bank & Trust


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