ENNIS — Although the Ennis rodeo happened last year, it was fairly empty due to COVID-19. This weekend it's a packed house. Everyone from all over — from participants to fans were excited to see the seats filled up.
“It’s awesome," said volunteer Terri James. "It’s great to some smiling faces and not have to have a mask on. Everybody’s ready to get out and have some fun. I’m glad they’re here. It’s always a great time.”
For most people it’s nice to now get out of the house, and for quite a few this is their first big event since the pandemic began.
“Fourth of July is such a big weekend amongst the rodeo people and they’re all just happy to be out and be running full-steam when they haven’t been able to do that for pretty much a whole year,” said WesTrends owner Larry Shore.
And for the contestants, it’s good to see the big crowds again.
“This is stuff we live for, man," said participant Austin Chaffin. "We love this stuff. We love the crowds. We love everything. When it was shut down a little bit last year, it was a little bit hard to rodeo -- we kept going. Now, it’s just getting even better.
For all those who came to watch, it’s exactly what they needed. Some rodeo action, dancing to Sweet Caroline and an ice-cold beer.
“It’s really good that people can come together like this," said James. "Especially after what’s been going on and have fun. It’s just a down-home country rodeo. Kids are great. It’s just a lot of fun. That’s what people need right now.”
Most of all, it’s best to be back to normal watching the rodeo with the ones you love.
“Just to spend time with my family and watch the rodeo,” said a young rodeo viewer.