Brawley Chamber of Commerce
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HISTORY OF THE CATTLE CALL RODEO
It all began on a high school football field…
In 1957, the Chamber of Commerce, realizing Brawley had no annual event like other Valley towns, decided to host a celebration in Brawley saluting the cattle industry and the first parade and rodeo were born. A contest was held to propose a name and the winner was Mrs. Rex Hudson who submitted the name “Cattle Call”. The rodeo, held on the Brawley High School football field in 1957, was a far cry from the successful professional event it is today. After that first year, Louise Willey, Ed Rutherford, Al Smith and Dick Smith met at the Planters Hotel and decided to build a permanent rodeo arena. The location chosen was the brush-filled river bottom owned by the City of Brawley and inhabited only by rattlesnakes, rabbits, coyotes and skunks. Louise, Ed, Al and Dick, who became know as the Arena Committee, made personal donations to the building fund and solicited cash donations from others in the community. Local companies donated much of the equipment, materials and labor needed to build the first arena and local service clubs made donations to the building fund.
On display here is one of the original bucking chute gates, built in 1958, as the arena rose up along the brush-choked banks of the New River. Inspired by the stalwart members of the original Arena Committee, the entire Brawley community pitched in to complete the facility barely in time for the 1958 event which was then called Brawley Cattle Call and Imperial Valley Rodeo. Within a few years the rodeo became known as Cattle Call Rodeo.
2014 - 2015 Business Directory & Cattle Call Program