“It was a huge rodeo” and “It was a good rodeo” were the summations Sandy Quarles, co-owner with her husband Wesley of Sandy Oaks Farm, gave The Advertiser in an interview following the 11th annual Sandy Oaks Pro Rodeo held Aug. 26-27. While no firm numbers were yet available, Quarles estimated that, in total, “at least 8,500, if not more” people attended this year’s rodeo.
Besides the rodeo events, there were vendors, a mechanical bull, and booths set up by local business and organizations to entice and entertain the crowds. Of particular interest to the children was a booth manned by members of Peace Haven Church which gave out free cowboys hats and bandanas (while supplies lasted) as well as balloons and candy. They also provided free face painting. Other booths representing locals were done by Edgefield County Hospital, which gave away a basket of children’s goodies at intermission, and Forrest Tire, who had a drawing for $100. Edgefield County Hospital also sponsored this year’s boot scramble, a favorite for children ages 12 and under.
While there was a great a turn out and fun to be had each night, this year’s event was not without its problems, specifically in regards to entering and parking. In fact, at one point on Saturday night, vehicles snaked down Hwy 23 past Recoletta Ranch as the backup grew. To that issue, Quarles said, “We’re looking into it, and we have a whole year to figure it out.” She assured, “We’ll get it straight.”
As always, Quarles was very complimentary of the many volunteers that help to make each year’s rodeo so successful. “I appreciate everybody’s help with the rodeo,” she said as she went on to also thank everyone who came and supported the event.
Sounding understandably exhausted, Quarles will take only a short break now to before planning for next year’s rodeo begins.