By Sarah Snyder
PECOS - It's the 126th anniversary of the Pecos Rodeo, and organizers say, about 8-10,000 people will be packing the stands out over the next few days. With the oil boom, West Texas is already crowded, but they say, that hasn't deterred people from coming out this year.
"It's my 5th year, I think, this is my fifth year to come," Will Scoggins, a long time rodeo contestant, said. "I've been all over the country, but this is a very good rodeo here."
It's a tradition that brings visitors from Colorado, Louisiana, and everywhere in between.
"It's a big boost for the whole area," Joe Keese, President and Director, Pecos Rodeo, said. "We bring a lot of people in from all over. This is the 126th, it's a tradition, families in Pecos schedule their family reunions, the high school reunions are all scheduled during this time, so we bring a lot of people back into the area, and that's why it's really key to keep this tradition going."
But with the current housing shortage, its hard for the visitors to find a place to stay. The Quality Inn in Pecos says, they're booked solid.
"A lot of people are staying in the few hotel rooms we have left," Keese said. "Some are staying out of town. We have a lot of people that stay in Fort Davis, Fort Stockton, Monahans, and travel down here for the rodeo."
Many participants brought their house with them.
"You plug in, and it is basically like an R.V.," Scoggins said. "It's a living quarters in front of our horse trailer."
With 620 participants, organizers were also concerned that the high cost of diesel may prevent some of the regulars from coming.
"For the cowboys to being willing to drive to Pecos, enter our rodeo, then drive back to Prescott, Arizona or Colorado, is a true tribute to the tradition of Pecos," Keese said.
"The town really tries and gets behind it, and you see a lot of rodeos that don't have that," Scoggins said. "It's great that a town this size can put that money up for a rodeo in this area and stuff, so I mean, it's a great town."