POCATELLO — The Idaho High School Rodeo Finals mean different things to different people. To the cowboys and cowgirls who are competing, it is a chance at scholarship money, saddles, belt buckles and the chance to advance to the National High School Finals in July.
To the stock contractors who supply the animals that are in use, it is a pretty good sized check for getting the animals to the rodeo in good health and ready to do their part.
There are officials and announcers and gate personnel who are all getting paid to be there and do their professional jobs at a high level.
There are also the vendors, the people who come in and supply the fans with food, drinks and, in the case of this rodeo, an opportunity to purchase clothing, boots, ropes and so on so fans can then show off the new duds to all of their friends.
To Pocatello, it is a chance to make a buck on all of the visitors.
A conservative guess is that every dollar spent in the Pocatello area during this rodeo will be turned over at least five times before it leaves the area.
There are a lot of hotel rooms that are occupied, and a lot of meals purchased for families and contestants around town. There is gas that runs the fancy trucks that have hauled the animals in and out the area, and for the Bannock County fairgrounds, there is stall rent, trailer space rent and facility use fees that are charged for virtually everything that is used.
But lets look at the vendors — and there are bunch of them at the fairgrounds selling just about everything that you can imagine.
One of the vendors, The Wake Up Call out of Blackfoot, the rodeo is just another event on a busy summer schedule, but it means a lot to the bottom line of a year of activity.
“This is our second year at this rodeo, and we just love it,” Keshone Schneider said. “We have done well here, and we are planning on coming back as long as they will have us.”
The Wake Up Call is primarily a beverage truck (trailer) that offers an assortment of cold and hot beverages to one and all. From a latte, to a mocha to an Italian soda to a “dirty soda,” they can serve just about any drink out of their mobile unit that a person could possibly want.
“The kids are what makes it special for us,” Schneider said. “I was a rodeo contestant when I was younger, and this just feels like home, like we belong here. I love coming here every year.”
While The Wake Up Call has a permanent home in Blackfoot, they have a “home away from home” in Pocatello, at least during the Idaho High School Rodeo Finals every year.