The shift of seasons brings Leesville from the heat of summer to the cool breezes of Fall; of course, with this change marks the return of one of Leesville’s long-lasting traditions, the Lions Club Rodeo.

“Starting next week, this will be the 69th Rodeo, if I remember correctly,” Lions Club member and Executive Director of Lions Camp Ray Cecil says. “The Rodeo has been a big part of Leesville for many years, going hand in hand with the Vernon Parish Fair when you’re talking about long-standing traditions with the city.”

Currently, in the midst of its final preparations, the Lions Club Rodeo is set to be held at the West Louisiana Forestry Fairgrounds as it has in the past.

The event will hold the regular rodeo show, hosted by Smith Pro Rodeo, along with guests Mike Matthis as the Rodeo announcer and Rudy Burns as the funny man between sets.

In addition to the annual rodeo, 4-H club Woodsman skills winners will be showcased, having their projects shown to all those in attendance at the rodeo.

The Rodeo also showcases the Today’s Country 105.7/4-H Big Dog Bull Roping contest.

The Rodeo will feature Lions Club Board Member Dr. H.P. Thomas, founder of Leesville’s Thomas Vision Clinic, as the Grand Marshall in this year’s Rodeo.

Sponsors for the Rodeo include Christus Family Health Care, which also supports the Military Appreciation Day on Thursday evening of the Rodeo.

Active Duty Military members will have half-price on admission to the rodeo, along with reserved seating in the Fairgrounds Stadium.

Of course, the Rodeo couldn’t be the success it is without help from corporate sponsor Alford Motors, which will be showcasing some of the many vehicles it has on display during the Lions Club Rodeo parade on Thursday, October 4.

Starting as a fundraiser event in 1951, the Leesville Rodeo became the Lion Camps main source of funding for the facilities of the Leesville Lions Camp after its establishment in 1961. Continuing in that tradition, all proceeds generated from the Rodeo will be put forth into supporting the Leesville Lions Camp for next summer’s session.

The event will be taking place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this upcoming week, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets will be available from the State Farm Office in Leesville, as well as the Lions Camp. Advanced tickets will be $12 for adults and $10 for students.

For more information on how to purchase tickets, or how to become a sponsor, contact the Lions Camp office at (337) 239 - 6967.