A big benefit New Year’s Eve rodeo is planned at the Blackhawk Arena and Director Jake Van and his crew have been working non-stop to get the arena ready. Van and his crew have been working tirelessly the past several months to “church up the entryway” into the arena, and local brands are being showcased on barnwood surrounding the doors into the arena.
“We have had a ton of support in collecting these brands, and it’s turning out really cool,” said Van. “In addition to the many brands we have, each of the county commissioners have shared their brands with us- and all of them are four generation brands! Over 100 years old! It’s really neat.”
He recently made a bench out of a water trough, donated by Salina’s IFA, to be raffled off at the New Year’s Eve event’s silent auction. Also that night a bull, Geronimo, who looks like a rodeo bull, complete with a nose rings and huge horns, will be showcased, and attendees may sit on him for a photo opportunity. Proceeds from the night will go towards Salina City’s Veteran’s Memorial, and Van said he’s adamant about getting people out and enjoying the community.
“It’s all about getting people out from in front of their tv’s,” he said. “I go and pick up my kid from school and so many of the kids around him have no idea what’s going on in the horse world! There’s so much to offer our youth and I’d really like to get everyone involved.”
The arena has been kept busy and Van said he recently started tracking the economic impact the events have on the area, particularly Salina.
“We sold out every stall, every restaurant, and every hotel in Salina the week we hosted the State 4-H event,” he said. “We’ve been keeping busy and have hosted some pretty big events. The Little Britches rodeos are really fun, we’ve done high school rodeo, the Southwest Desert Classic, a couple Burns’ events, there’s just a lot been going on. This New Year’s Eve rodeo should be a really fun! There’ll be a dance with a live DJ, the bull, a silent auction. Everyone come out!”