The historic Hinchliffe Stadium is to serve as the venue for a rodeo event on Sunday. The rodeo exhibition is being put on by the Mexican Folklore Dance Society, according to city records.
Alex Garcia, the event’s organizer, said he expects 1,500 people to attend the event which will run from 1-8 p.m.
Garcia’s application to the city states the event will feature bull riding rodeo, live music, folk dancing, traditional Mexican food, arts and craft, and bottle beverages.
The council approved Garcia’s bazaar license at the protest of another rodeo operator Ramiro Zuniga in a special meeting on Tuesday evening.
Zuniga’s protest included concerns about bleacher safety and riding on a concrete stadium floor. “Are the bull riders going to ride on concrete? That’s a disaster waiting to happen if it’s concrete,” said Zuniga.
Garcia, who has been conducting rodeos for years, said it’s common for his organization to add a great deal of dirt to accommodate the riders.
“The bulls, they need turf, for that we have contracted a company to bring 80 tons of special turf,” said Garcia. “They’ll be protected.”
The city’s law director Domenick Stampone said the shared services agreement with the school district allows the municipality to use the stadium.
Garcia said the event costs $20 in advance. Some posters for the event indicate entrance cost is $40. He said he will use the parking lot in Kennedy High School.
Zuniga also raised concerns about Garcia’s organization’s tax filings. He said the tax filings show $2,500 in 2011. He said the organization hosts shows every month. He raised doubts about the financial filings. He also said no recent filings were done.
Garcia rebutted Zuniga and said he had the most recent filing on hand pointing to a paper.
“What guarantees do we have you’ll return the stadium back to its original condition?” asked Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large.
The next day the group will clean up the stadium, said Garcia.
Garcia said he has all the requisite insurances. He said there will be 20 police officers at the event for security.
Hinchliffe Stadium is part of the Great Falls National Park. It is one of the few remaining ballfields in the country where the Negro League held games producing such greats as Larry Doby at a time when racial segregation prevailed in America.
The council approved a bazaar license for the event.