Whether it is February or June, it's time to dust off the Stetson and lasso a heap of family fun at the Silver Spurs Rodeo where the country's top cowboys and the most unpredictable livestock mix it up for high-kickin', heart-stoppin' action. Rodeo fans will be amazed by the pulse-elevating events such as bull riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding and barrel racing; as well as, be entertained by crowd-pleasing cowboy clowns.
The Silver Spurs Rodeo was founded by the Silver Spurs Riding Club in 1944 to promote good horsemanship and good fellowship in Osceola County. It has grown to one of the most successful rodeos in the country, the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi and is ranked annually among the top 50 events sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
Held for years in an outdoor arena, the Silver Spurs Rodeo is now held in the high-tech Silver Spurs Arena, located at Osceola Heritage Park. The multi-million dollar indoor facility is climate-controlled with the latest state-of-the-art, high-tech lighting and audio — the ultimate in rodeo watching comfort.
Kissimmee's Cattle Country History
Most people who visit Kissimmee, located just south of Central Florida's biggest theme parks, are more than a bit surprised to find that cattle ranches, rodeos, and cowboys have played such a big part in the area's culture. But it's true. All of these were around long before Mr. Disney came to town and changed Central Florida forever.
Back in the 1500's, when Spanish explorers landed on the coast of Florida, their ships were loaded with everything they needed to tame a new territory, including cattle. They found that crossing the watery swamps of Central Florida was treacherous and they lost more than a few head of cattle in the mucky, mosquito-clouded bogs. Despite the dreadful conditions and dangerous environment, the lost cattle survived... and multiplied... and more than 200 years later, the area's next settlers found the plains of the Kissimmee River Valley overrun with herds of wild cows.
Stories are told of early residents in downtown Kissimmee fencing their yards to keep the wild cows out. Still, while the bounty of four-legged bovines caused headaches for Osceola's pioneer families, the cattle provided a valuable food source and a way of life that remains even today.
Of course, what do ranchers do for fun after the ranch work is done? Every week local cowboys and cowgirls compete in action-packed, all-American events like bull riding, calf roping and barrel racing. All this takes place at the Kissimmee Sports Arena's Friday Night Rodeo. But, twice a year, in February and June, the action is kicked into high gear at the bi-annual Silver Spurs Rodeo where the country's toughest cowboys go head-to-head with the country's nastiest bulls and saddle broncs.
Information and Directions
The 120-acre Osceola Heritage Park, which includes the Silver Spurs Arena, Osceola County Stadium, the Exhibition Building, Outdoor Pavillion, KVLS Pavillion and University of Florida Extension Services has been developed as a showplace of facilities that honor and celebrates the Kissimmee-St. Cloud community and its agricultural and cattle ranching heritage.
Tickets for the Silver Spurs Rodeo can be obtained online or by calling 407-67RODEO.
The Silver Spurs Rodeo is located at the Silver Spurs Arena, 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee. The Silver Spurs Arena is located within the Osceola Heritage Park off Highway 192 east of Kissimmee, just a few miles from Orlando's major theme parks.