Listen to this post
MEEKER I Some people were skeptical that the 127th annual Range Call Celebration wouldn’t happen, myself included. Our first concern was if Meeker even wanted this celebration to continue. So last winter I scheduled presentations with any club, group, organization, etc. that would let me speak. Although repeatedly explaining Range Call’s dire financial situation was less than fun, my answer to whether Meeker wanted this celebration was perfectly clear: yes.
We picked up the pieces from last year’s poorly attended event and the Range Call Committee chose to move forward more aggressively than ever before. Our first step was the creation of a brand new website that would allow online ticket sales, along with entry forms and up to date information about the upcoming event.
Our second goal was to create more space for the concert and add new events (while keeping the traditional ones). Although rodeo was the event that created Range Call, we needed to add some new zest to get the crowds back and to have enough space to accommodate them once they got here.
Lastly, we had to figure out how to pay for it! Looking back through the last 10 year’s financials, I found that a number of businesses had stopped supporting Range Call. With a few phone calls and personal visits, most all of those supporters came back on board and are honored to be involved again. This year while you watch the rodeo, take a moment to look at all the custom painted signs hanging in the arena. Where there were only about 30 last year, now there are close to 60.
With our goals in place, the committee started a completely revised advertising campaign. We utilized a number of online locations, including Facebook advertisements. Our online campaigns have brought sales from as far as Texas, North Carolina and North Dakota. We also hand-delivered 20,000 brochures to towns within a 150 mile radius of Meeker.
Now with the event just a week away, I encourage you to buy your wristbands at Wendll’s Wondrous Things, the Meeker Chamber of Commerce or www.meekerrangecall.com. As a reminder, wristbands will be an additional $5 if purchased at the gate.
Why do I share these details with you? This annual celebration is a vital part of our economy and will need this level of committment to continue. The Range Call Committee is comprised of 100 percent volunteers who work year round to make the event possible. If you have time to spare, we encourage you to join us in creating next year’s celebration.