The Whip Crack’in’ Rodeo, an annual event held at Lebanon’s Ward Agricultural Center for the past 10 years, has been canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lebanon businessman Bob Black, who chairs The Community Foundation’s Wilson County board of directors, the host organization of the event, said the decision to cancel the two-night rodeo scheduled for April 24 and 25 was “regretful but necessary.” “We initially had hoped we would be able to avoid canceling the rodeo this year in favor of finding an alternate date perhaps in late summer. But, because of other events already scheduled at the Ward Agricultural Center and previous commitments by the company that produces the rodeo, this was not possible,” Black said.
He said it was unfortunate that the chain of consecutive years in which the rodeo has been held has to be broken but added that “in view of the extreme circumstances surrounding the coronavirus it was a decision that was necessary.”
Proceeds from the rodeo are used each year to support area nonprofits.
Black said in past years the rodeo, which was started by former Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead and his wife Darlene, has provided financial support to dozens of local charities and nonprofits.
“This will not be the end of the Whip Crack’in’ Rodeo for Lebanon and Wilson County,” Black pledged. He said plans are already being made for the rodeo in 2021. “Raising more than $50,000 annually to help local charities is just too important to be dismissed. I promise the rodeo will be back next year, stronger than ever.” While as many as 5,000 attend the rodeo over the weekend it’s held, Black said much of the financial success of the event is attributed to the many sponsors who pay to have the names of their businesses listed in programs, placed on banners around the arena, and recognized in a number of other ways.
“We are so appreciative of the support we receive from local businesses and many individuals and urge each of these to continue their support of the Whip Crack’in’ Rodeo in 2021. Their sponsorships not only make it possible to bring a great family entertainment show to Lebanon and Wilson County, they also make it possible to provide much needed financial support to a number of worthy local nonprofits,” Black said.
Submitted to the Democrat