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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment June 20, 2018


5/23/2018 8:10:00 AM
Volunteers make rodeo ticket office go
Cathy Williams, foreground, has been operating the Sisters Rodeo ticket office for 28 years. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
Cathy Williams, foreground, has been operating the Sisters Rodeo ticket office for 28 years. photo provided

By Bonnie Malone


Selling tickets for Sisters Rodeo is a fun, challenging and rewarding full-time job for an all-volunteer crew. Ticket sales begin in December and reach a crescendo in these final weeks before the rodeo.

"It's a dance where we all learn to dance around each other," said Katie Martin, one of the primary people in the ticket office.

Sometimes there are as many as five people in the office to take calls, fill orders and mail tickets. Laughter is the theme of the day on those days.

"People are so friendly and cooperative," said board member and ticket office manager, Cathy Williams. "We get lots of people who will be attending their first rodeo, so they are full of questions, which we are happy to answer."

Williams has been managing the ticket office for over 28 years. She previously volunteered with Irene Marvin, the former ticket office manager, who was part of the group that resurrected the rodeo in the 1970s.

"Customer service is our greatest priority," Williams explained, "with purchasers sometimes asking details, such as how high the bleacher seats are, how big the seats are and what area will best fit their point of interest." Barrel racing fans tend to like sitting in the center of the arena, while bucking stock fans like being closer to the chutes. Larger-sized fans often purchase two seats for their own comfort. Handicapped fans also get seating with one companion in a special location that some feel are the best seats in the house.

There are also queries about parking, which is free at Sisters Rodeo, and about food and pets. The rodeo strongly encourages fans to leave their pets at home. Only service animals are allowed at the rodeo in the ADA (handicapped) section.

"The parking lot gets very hot and dangerous for pets left in a vehicle," Williams exclaimed. "Our bleachers do not have any space for a pet, even on the walkways."

With a change in Friday night from open to reserve seating, there was concern that fans may not receive this well. On the contrary, the sales people have found that most purchasers are happy with the change. They feel they can get the seats they want without needing to arrive really early to rush to that area.

"We are outselling last year at this time," Williams said. "It is smart to purchase tickets now for any performance if you have a section where you really want to watch the show." Early purchase also avoids buying standing-room tickets when the seats are all filled.

For performances that allow children under 12 free access with a ticket, the sales staff and the answering service are sure to ask any purchasers if they have children they're bringing to that performance.

The ticket office closes on Friday of rodeo week so the crew can pack up and move tickets to the rodeo grounds for that night's performance. The ticket sales team then returns to what they've learned to enjoy, getting happy fans in the stands for The Biggest Little Show in the World.

Sisters Rodeo will begin June 6 with Xtreme Bulls followed by four rodeo performances June 8-10. For tickets and information, call the ticket hotline at 541-549-0121 or 1-800-827-7522, or visit the ticket office at 220 W. Cascade Ave. in Sisters. For information visit www.sistersrodeo.com.









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