In 1960, the Reno Rodeo took a turn that altered if for years to come. Acting upon
the wishes of Reno businessmen who wanted to add another big tourist weekend,
the dates of the rodeo were moved from the traditional Fourth of July weekend to
earlier in June. The thinking was that tourists would still show up for the Fourth of
July. Now they would have another reason to visit the area with the rodeo held in
The change was met with a lukewarm reception from the public and attendance
numbers began to plunge. The quality of the rodeo, however, did not wane. Reno
continued to attract the top professional cowboys in the country. Those fans that did turn out saw some excellent competition.
In 1960, Reno Rodeo Association President Ray Peterson told the Reno Evening
Gazette that entries were coming in for the rodeo at a faster pace than ever before.
He said there was no other rodeo taking place during the same weekend as the Reno Rodeo and all the top cowboys were sure to turn out. They did, with Casey Tibbs, Guy Weeks, Dale Smith and most of the other Rodeo Cowboys Association competitors in town for the competition.
The rodeo parade was also back, with George Solari the parade chairman and Jack Horgan his advisor. Rex Bell was again the grand marshal of the parade. Reno’s Sherry Wagner’s was the rodeo queen and the Flying U Rodeo Company of Cotton Rosser and Dick Pascoe provided the stock. Clem McSpadden, now in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, made his debut as the announcer.
Attendance was down, with an estimated 11,500 fans attending the three-day event. Still, as the Nevada State Journal reported, “rodeo association officials expressed satisfaction with the turnout marking the first time Reno Rodeo dates have not fallen over the Fourth of July holiday.”