Eureka Fire Protection District Firefighters' Association members present what they believe to be the hottest rodeo of the year on Friday and Saturday evenings, starting at 7:30 p.m. It's the 19th annual Backdraft Rodeo.
The first Backdraft Rodeo was held Oct. 13, 1993, and has been a community event since.
Scott Barthelmass, a spokesperson for the fire district, said the two shows last about 3 hours each. "It's filled with family fun and excitement, from kids actually chasing a calf for a cash prize, to the barrel racing to the ultimate cowboy challenge of bull riding. All competitors are actual cowboys and cowgirls making the rodeo circuit and competing for cash prizes and recognition."
The Backdraft Rodeo is a Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association (MRCA) and American Rodeo Cowboys Association (ARCA) sanctioned rodeo.
This year's rodeo once again will be held at in Eureka. The rodeo benefits the Eureka Firefighter's Association, a charitable foundation of firefighters and paramedics. Tickets at the gate are $6 per person, with children aged 5 and younger for free.
Funds raised from the Backdraft Rodeo are donated to many area charities by the association. Some organizations and funds that benefited from donations in the past include:
- St. Louis Children's Hospital and Cardinal Glennon Toy Drive
- St. John's Mercy Medical Center Burn Unit
- Muscular Dystrophy Association
- Eureka Ministerial Alliance
- EFA Holiday Adopt a Family Program
- Eureka City Parks
- EFA Equipment Fund Donation
- EFA Scholarship Fund, given to a Eureka High School student who chooses to further their studies in the emergency service field