Thursday, March 8, 2012

Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo

From Gulfport, these lovely ladies are the beauty contest winners for the 1961 Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. The Rodeo was organized by the American Legion in 1947 and held the first Rodeo the next year. At first mostly a local event, the Rodeo quickly grew in popularity, especially under the leadership of Robert Rice, the American Legion post president who worked to expand and improve the event. First using a tent as the event's venue, the Rodeo moved into a larger Ringling Brothers Circus tent and then to a permanent pavilion constructed by the Seabees known as the Rice Pavilion, named for Robert Rice. As a boy, I went to the Deep Sea Fishing Road with my uncle. Growing in Meridian, I had never seen a fish larger than a catfish (and that on a plate!), so this was a real thrill. It was the first time I remember seeing a shark. The Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is still going and bigger than ever, now in its 63rd year. It will be held at the Long Beach Harbor in July. 
For more information on the Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, please visit:

Photo credit: Dixiana: Classic Images of the American South, found at:

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