Rodeo roundup: Your guide to the 84th annual Southwest District Livestock Show and Rodeo

Published 12:14 pm Thursday, January 26, 2023

The West is no longer wild, but the pioneering spirit of those times live on. Here in Southwest Louisiana, that spirit will be celebrated beginning Saturday, Jan. 28 through Saturday, Feb. 4. But before the first hoof disturbs the fresh dirt of the Burton Coliseum arena, plenty of activities are planned for the 84th Annual Southwest District Livestock Show and Rodeo. Here’s the rundown.

The Rodeo Heritage Trail Ride will mark the beginning of festivities when cowgirls and cowboys saddle up in Gueydan for a week-long trail ride that ends in Lake Charles. (See the route below.)

On Sunday, January 29, outlying parish livestock show participants will begin to bring their prize-winning picks to Lake Charles to show judges just how hard they’ve been working to raise the best poultry, lamb, swine or beef in Southwest Louisiana.

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Beauties, bullfighters and pancakes

Monday, Jan. 30, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Miss Rodeo America and Miss Rodeo Louisiana will be available to sign autographs at Dickie’s Barbecue Pit, 1736 W Prien Lake Rd. in Lake Charles. Catch these crowned beauties Tuesday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.. at Mr. Gatti’s, 3522, Ryan St.

Tuesday, Jan. 31, enjoy a free pancake breakfast at Southern Spice as long as supplies last. The first 50 individuals in line will receive a free rodeo ticket.

Thursday, Jan. 2, 4 p.m., bullfighter/clown Rudy Burns will sign autographs at Patton’s Western Wear, 3620 Ryan St.  Friday, Jan. 3, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m., bullfighters will sign autographs at Boot Barn, 2990 E. Prien Lake Rd.

Week-long trail ride

This year, Rodeo Heritage trail riders will start Saturday, Jan. 28 in Gueydan, ride to Lake Arthur, go from Lake Arthur to Jennings, Jennings to Welsh and Welsh to Iowa. On Wednesday, Feb. 1, they’ll depart Iowa for Kershaw’s Cajun Village, and from there they will join the Western Heritage Parade.

Parade to be led by Lee Adam Landry

The Western Heritage Parade will be held Thursday, Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. beginning at the corner of Lagrange and Patrick Street. It will travel west on Lagrange Street to Ryan Street, then south on Ryan Street to McNeese Stadium.

The 2023 Marshall is self-proclaimed “country boy” Lee Adam Landry. He’s farmed corn, potatoes and cotton, and he’s been around horses and mules most of his life, including raising racehorses and chicken chasing from the saddle, Mardi Gras-style.

In 1975 he joined the Calcasieu Parish Jr. Sheriff Posse to help children of all abilities learn to ride and drill.

“We took those children to ride in parades and perform at rodeos in places like Lake Charles for the Little Britches Rodeo, Crowley High School Rodeo and Grand Prairie and Natchitoches,” Landry said.

In 1983, the W & L Trail Riders was formed. The W stood for Welch and the L for Lacassine because that’s where the three original members were from, Landry, Landry’s father-in-law Cyrus Sonnier and his wife’s Uncle Willis “T-Will” Chaisson. It soon grew to about 100 members.

“During that time, Mr. Rudy Faulk started hosting a week-long ride for the Lake Charles Rodeo. That ride started in Kaplan with stops along the way until the riders reached Lake Charles to join the rodeo parade.”

The trail ride died with Faulk until the tradition was resurrected in 2002 by Blain Crochet, Landry and his son. Instead of a week, they rode for two days from Lacassine to Lake Charles. In 2012, Glenn Daigle took the initiative to get the week-long ride started again.

Rodeo times, special events and entertainment

The Southwest District Rodeo performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at Burton Coliseum Thursday, Feb. 2 and Friday, Feb. 3. Saturday, Feb. 4, choose from a 2 p.m. performance and the 7:30 show. Come 15 minutes early to see kids turn sheep any which way but loose in the popular mutton bustin’ event.

Beginning and ending with winners

The familiar, booming voice of Andy Stewart will welcome guests to the “Greatest Show on Dirt.” He is an 11-time nominee for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Announcer of the Year. It was 1993 in DeRidder when Stewart held the mic for the first time. He was hooked, but it took two years to get a thumbs up from the PRCA. Now he announces almost 50 events per year including Wyoming’s Frontier Days Rodeo.

“The magic exists because Andy Stewart is a student of the game,” according to information from March 2020 article. “He knows the cowboys, the animals, the events.”

This year’s entertainment is 5th generation cowboy, six-time PRCA Dress Act of the Year and trick roper Rider Kiesner and 2020 Dress Act of the Year trick rider Bethany Iles.

For general rodeo information, go to or call 337-944-9710. For Burton Complex Box Office/Ticket Sales, call 337-721-4090. For rodeo parade and trail ride info, call (337) 802-4879.