SMRA lands international rodeo convention


The International Gay Rodeo Association will hold their annual convention in Nashville next year, with its members voting to choose Nashville over other cities after a presentation by Nashville’s Smoky Mountain Rodeo’s board of directors.

The 2006 International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) will hold its convention at the Preston Hotel in Nashville on Oct. 19 to 22, 2006. Members from more than 26 IRGR member associations from the U.S. and Canada will attend.

"We look forward to showcasing Nashville to our fellow associations," said Bill Tedder, treasurer of SMRA. "This is an exciting opportunity for our organization. SMRA and Nashville were all the buzz at convention. Everyone is excited about coming here next year and we want to include all of the GLBT community in our plans for showing them a good time. This is a wonderful opportunity for us and Nashville and we already have big plans in mind."

Tedder, Justin Waldner, president; Keith Robinson, vice president; Mark Henry, secretary and Scott Stringer, trustee, made a presentation on Sunday to more than 170 delegates that are representing some 25 gay rodeo associations at this year’s convention in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Tom Sheridan and Tam Keltner represented SMRA as delegates at the convention. The group made their pitch wearing "Minnie Pearl" like hats, with a PowerPoint presentation showcasing Nashville.

"Nashville is a great place, and the fact that we can show the delegates Southern hospitality as well as being the home of country music, makes it a perfect city to hold the IGRA’s annual convention," Tedder added.

Tedder said this year’s convention consisted of long meetings and discussions about how the year went, as well as, making plans for the future. The nights were filled with dinners, parties and pub crawls throughout Calgary.

"Justin was showcased at a bar called Pulse and performed two 45 minute sets," Tedder said. "He has become quite a singing sensation on the rodeo circuit."

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