Women's Barrel Racing  -  Entries & Schedule




Office Hours:
Mon-Fri ... 9 - noon

Starting August 2nd
Mon-Sat ... 9 - 5

For Tickets Call:

or purchase online

Campground Info
click here
Area Lodging

Contact us at: palestinecofc@frontier.com 

Pioneer City Arena

Our Story

50 YearsThe first Pioneer City Rodeo was held fifty-three years ago on a baseball field in Leaverton Park. The old wooden seats purchased then held only about 3,000 spectators and the ball field lights provided illumination for the night performances. Prize money that first year was $1,500.00. After two successful years, the Pioneer City Arena was constructed. The newly developed Super Sports Lighter Floodlights were installed and to this day no better lighting has been found. The purse that year was doubled to $3,000.

Since that time, several improvements have been made to the Pioneer City Arena. Additional ground was purchased increasing the parking area. The old wooden seats have been replaced with aluminum seating providing room for more than 4,500 fans. The campground area has been added for the convenience of the fans and a few years ago, showers and new restroom facilities were added.

World Record Set in Palestine

Denny Flynn, a native of Charleston, Arkansas, rode a bull named Red Lightning for a World Record score of 98 points on September 2, 1979, in our arena. It was a record that stood until 1991.

Borrowed from GreatLakesProRodeo.com
"He [Denny Flynn] reminisces about his 98 point ride and his favorite bull, Red Lightning, saying fondly, "I retired in March of '86, and they retired Red Lightning September of '88. The Palestine rodeo committee had a promotion for his retirement, they were going to retire him from that arena. They wanted me to ride him one last time, so I did. Mind, I hadn't been on a bull for 18 months, and I thought maybe I should practice a little first. But then I thought, no, I might get hurt, or be too sore to ride him, so I just went to Palestine. They wanted me to get bucked off, let the bull win his last ride, but I said, nope, if I'm riding him, I'm going to ride him. Red Lightning gave his usual outstanding all even though he was old and slow. They retired us together that night as a set. The Palestine rodeo committee was always really good to me and that was just such a sweet deal."

Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Inductee

The Palestine Chamber of Commerce, the Pioneer City Arena Committee, and the people of Palestine are dedicated to making our Labor Day Festival the best to be found. Towards that goal, we are always happy to hear the ideas and suggestions of our visitors.

Pioneer City Rodeo
Chosen by the PRCA

as the
Best Small Outdoor Rodeo
in 1993 & 1994

Top Five Small Outdoor Rodeos

in 1996 & 1997

and as
Great Lakes Circuit Rodeo of the Year
in 1994 & 1999


Pioneer City Bull Bash
named by the NFPBR

as the
Event Of The Year
in 2009