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The City of Belton celebrates 100 years of rodeo

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Posted at 2:16 PM, Jul 04, 2024

BELTON, Texas (KXXV) — “Hello Belton, how are you,” said Charlie Throckmorton, longtime rodeo announcer.

For anyone who's attended the PRCA Belton rodeo, that voice might be familiar.

Charlie Throckmorton has been the voice behind the rodeo for over 30 years, even after battling cancer.

“I’ve been doing this for so many years, I say I don’t have butterflies anymore — if I do, they fly in formation,“ Throckmorton said.

Ellis White Holland Sr. started this tradition in Central Texas.

The first Fourth of July rodeo was in 1924 — leasing bucking horses from the Texas State Penitentiary.

Holland Sr. was on the celebration committee until 1940, and he passed away in 1944.

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“There are generations of people who have grown up coming to the rodeo, coming as children bringing their children and now bringing their grandchildren and great-grandchildren to the rodeo,” said Randy Pittenger, President/CEO of Belton Chamber of Commerce.

Throughout the 100 years, Throckmorton says he has seen the game change a lot from technology to athletes and even the crowd, which was not the biggest at the beginning when he started in 1988.

“We didn’t have much of a crowd that year — they had just built the building in '87 I think, and so they were trying to get used to this beautiful coliseum round, which is now called the Cadence Bank Center, but the population finally caught on,” Throckmorton said.

The arena holds over 6,000 people, and officials say it sells out — which is a plus for our local economy.

Throckmorton has witnessed it all from this announcer booth including the moment when a father jumped on the dirt to protect his unconscious son from a bull in 2022.

“All parents are going to do that, and it’s called love — you have to be on your thinking cap if you think quick, you have to think quick in this sport right here if you don’t you’re in trouble,” Throckmorton said.

The rodeo will go on until Saturday — to purchase tickets, click here.