NAMPA, Idaho — Cowboys and cowgirls from across the country are converging on Ford Idaho Center in Nampa this week for the 104th Snake River Stampede. The event's general manager tells us the impact will likely be bigger than ever this year, with entry numbers at an all time high with roughly 750 entries by rodeo professionals from across the country.
"We have a record number of contestants that's registered so far, or entered, and it looks. And it looks like our purse will be a record number also," said Curtis Homer, General Manager, Snake River Stampede.
It's a number that's been climbing since the rodeo first started 104 years ago. Homer says "word on the street" is that it began like this:
"They would rope off an empty lot down by the post office downtown. And they just called it the 'Buck Show,' and they would go in there and buck and everything and, ya know, just ride the horses within that rope. And the understanding was, one year, one of the horses got out of the rope and ran through some lady's clothes line-- and it was a big to-do downtown-- so yeah anyway they started building arenas for them after that," said Homer.
The rodeo begins Tuesday and runs through Saturday. But its impact, Homer says, reaches beyond the gates of Ford Idaho Center.
"As you can see today all the RV spots are rented, it's all full. The hotels are filling up, and the restaurants are all busy-- 'cause if you bring 700 contestants and they bring two people with them, that's 2000 people a day that's out here eating in the community," said Homer.
Homer estimates this year's event to bring in about $11.6 million in economic impact to Nampa.
To learn more on Snake River Stampede, click here.