9 things we learned from hosting the RNCFR in Kissimmee
In 2015, the first year that the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo event was hosted in Kissimmee, Florida, we were so thrilled! We have 70+ years of rodeo history right here in our area, and bringing this national championship rodeo to town got everyone very eager to do something big! We definitely had a great first year playing hosts; however, we decided to cut back on some aspects of our event and keep it simpler – but fun! – for those who attend.
The Tailgate Experience
For 2016, we’re opting to have the rodeo in conjunction with our one-of-a-kind Tailgate Experience. You’ll find interesting exhibits, vendors for shoppers, our Kids Zone for families to enjoy, the Food Truck Bazaar for dining, and music and live entertainment on the main stage each day.
Growing local partnerships…
It takes a village to make this wonderful rodeo event a success. As we grow each year, it helps to have community partners! On that note, we’d like to give a shout-out to all of our current partners for the 2016 RNCFR: Experience Kissimmee, Boot Barn, Pendleton Whisky, Spirit of the Swamp, Osceola Regional Medical Center, Osceola News-Gazette, Satisfaction Orlando Resort, Ramada, Oak Plantation, Wild Florida, Mattamy Homes, Bouchard Insurance, Deseret Ranch, Skanska, Lattner Equine Performance, PFM, Univeristy of Central Florida, Bell Roper Law, and S Belle Brand. We cannot thank you enough for your support!
Starting off with a bang!
Who doesn’t love a great rodeo opening ceremony? Especially when fireworks are involved! At the RNCFR, we thoroughly enjoy getting the fans in the stands pumped up during the opening ceremony each night just before we rodeo. However, after year one, we did realize that maybe our pyro was packing a little too much of a punch! You see, though this was a great way to capture the audience’s attention, we took to heart some of the feedback we received about toning down the blasts just a bit. We promise this year you won’t need your ear plugs!
Rodeo date change
Last year we kicked off our inaugural performance of the RNCFR during the last weekend of March. We learned that March was just not the best time for us because we were competing with many other events. Also, our dates fell in the middle of many families’ spring break plans. So we pushed our rodeo back a few weeks. This year, our first rodeo performance kicks off on Thursday, April 7th and the last performance takes place on Sunday, April 10th. We hope that this will enable fans to attend at least one of the five RNCFR performances, if not all of them.
Meet your favorite contestant or state queen!
For our rodeo regulars and new rodeo fans alike, we want to give everyone the opportunity to meet and greet their favorite cowboys and cowgirls! After all, they have to be champions to get here, so they’re kind of a big deal! We’re hosting a constant and queen meet and greet just outside the arena’s South Lobby. After each performance, you can meet the top two contestants from each event, as well as the visiting state queens to take photos, get autographs, or simply say hello! (We’ll provide the autograph sheets and Sharpies!)
A place to kick off your boots and hang your hat…
Here in Kissimmee, we are all about southern hospitality! We welcome those of you traveling from far and wide to see the RNCFR. We hope that you will ride into town, have a comfortable stay, and enjoy Central Florida. This year, we have three wonderful host hotels we recommend: Satisfaction Orlando Resort, Ramada Kissimmee Downtown, and Oak Plantation Resort. If you visit our website, you can find promotional codes to receive great discounts!
New this year: We’re taking RV reservations so you can stay on site! RV sites are available to the general public for $50.00 per night. Contestants may make reservations as well for a flat fee of $125 for their trip. If you book an RV reservation, you may arrive on Wednesday, April 6th. All RVs must be off site by the start of the day on Monday, April 12th. We have both 30 amp and 50 amp services available. Be sure to book your spot today, because they are first come, first served.
Cowboy Church on Champions Day
Last year, some fans suggested that we host Cowboy Church. Well, per our fans’ requests, we will be hosting Cowboy Church on Sunday, April 10th just before we kick off our Champions Day performance. This is open to all who wish to attend! Some of our contestants will be present to usher.
Though this isn’t our first rodeo, last year was our first go-around at hosting the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo here in Kissimmee. We have tried our best to listen to the feedback we received from contestants, rodeo fans, and our friends on other rodeo committees. We just know that this year is going to be a bit hit! We look forward to seeing everyone in April!