By Kara Carrier / American Press kcarrier@americanpress.com

The Southwest District Livestock Show and Rodeo is back in the Lake Area for it’s 75th year. This year’s theme is “75 Years and Takin’ it up a Notch.”

Nancy McClusky, sponsorship coordinator, said this year’s rodeo is unique because it’s also McNeese State University’s 75th anniversary.

“We are tieing that together somewhat,” McClusky said. “Saturday night we’re inducting three McNeese rodeo members into the hall of fame.”

Nelson Spotts, Donace “Donnie” Matheson and the late Fred “Wayne” Foster will be inducted at 8 p.m. Saturday at Burton Coliseum.

McClusky said events such as autograph signings have been going on throughout the week, and the livestock show began Wednesday. “We are also having a hall of fame production for 4-H. Miss Rodeo America, Paige Nicholson, will be here. And Buck Taylor, who was on ‘Gunsmoke’ and is also an artist, will be here Thursday and will be the grand marshal of the parade that day.”

According to McClusky there will be four rodeo performances: at 7:30 p.m. today and Friday and at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. John Harrison will be the specialty act, she said, and is expected to put on a good show. “He is a funny man,” she said.

McClusky said the Stickhorse Rodeo — for children up to age 7 — will be at 11 a.m. Saturday and is always a family favorite. No rodeo experience is required, she said, and stickhorses will be provided if needed.

“I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy a good time,” McClusky said. “Rodeo is a great family event. There will be something for everyone.”

Tickets are available at the Burton box office, Boot Barn, Cotten’s and Patton’s. Prices are $14-$22, and children age 3 and under will be admitted for free.

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Online: www.lakecharlesrodeo.com.