Cheney Rodeo celebrates 50 years

Cheney Rodeo celebrates 50 years

CHENEY, Wash. - Cowboys and cowgirls flocked to Cheney over the weekend to celebrate the Cheney rodeo's 50th anniversary.

The event has attracted fans since 1968. For many, it's an annual tradition. But for one local couple, it's much more than that.

"We've worked all 50 rodeos," said John Parker. "And we're the only two that has been here all 50 rodeos."

John and his wife Vonice haven't missed a single one. However, Vonice has never actually seen the rodeo herself. "What I do is help around the grounds and everything," she said. "So you don't get a chance to see the rodeo and help." She's too busy selling tickets and helping behind the scenes to enjoy all the action.

Vonice has become the unofficial historian of the Cheney rodeo. She carries around two giant scrap books containing photos, posters, and tickets since the rodeo began in 1968. She's now in the process of publishing a book on the rodeo's history.

Vonice and her husband don't plan on hanging up their hats anytime soon, but they do hope more volunteers can fill their role when the time comes.

"We need young volunteers," John said. "I'm going to be 79 here in a couple weeks and my body is getting mighty tired."