In Lakeside on January 17, the finishing touches were put on the new Lakeside Rodeo marquee. The old sign was put up in the early ’70s and was showing signs of wear.
The cost of the new sign was more than $100,000, according to the El Capitan Stadium Association, owners of the sign and property on the corner of Vine Street and Mapleview Avenue. The association is a nonprofit run by volunteers. They say their plan is to optimize every inch of its 12-foot-wide sign to help raise money for the youth of Lakeside.
Besides announcing events, the sign will be rented out for advertising. And because it is close to State Route 67, it is possible that it could be used for AMBER alerts, to notify the public of child abductions.
The rodeo grounds are used for the Miss Rodeo Lakeside Pageant, Lakeside Chili Cook-Off, weddings, BMX races, team-penning and barrel-racing exhibitions, fairs, and other community events.
The El Capitan Stadium Association raises money for Lakeside schools’ curriculum, sports groups, reading programs, school facilities, and for other local nonprofit organizations that need financial support. On average, the association reports donating more then $100,000 a year to the community. The annual Lakeside Rodeo, held every April, is the largest fundraiser.
The Lakeside Rodeo has gained national exposure over the past 44 years, from a small, hometown event to being named the International Professional Rodeo Association Rodeo (IPRA) of the year four times.
Some in Lakeside will miss the old sign with the boots, longhorns, and blue stars. For 35-plus years, folks from all over the country knew they were in Lakeside when they came into town and seen that old rodeo sign.