LLANO, Texas (KXAN) - Event organizers proudly showed off their year old, $2 million arena in Llano on Friday.The building is the sight of this year's 78th annual Llano Rodeo event, which is drawing big names and world class competition.
"This is one of the finest facilities in the nation," said event organizer Fred Smith, talking about the competitors that come from all over the country. "It fits their needs...we got the stalls that fits their need, the RV spaces that fit their need, and we have the grounds and the amenities and they love coming to Llano."
Smith says the facility has been a huge success, exceeding all expectations.
"When we built it we really didn't know what would happen," Smith said. "Now our bookings are like 90 percent, we're already booked almost through 2014, all of our weekends."
Vendors spent the day setting up and getting ready for the big event.
"Holsters, cell phone cases, key chains, leather wallets," vendor Max Jimenez said, pointing out all the items up for sale.
Others are saving their money for the Texas rodeo tour.
"We're a family of four, we probably spend $500," said Paige McNeill from New Mexico. "Eating, fuel, you know, wife goes shopping, stuff like that, stalls, RV, it all adds up."
The Rodeo kicked off at 7 p.m Friday. The downtown parade will start Saturday morning at 10 a.m., capped off by a barbecue cookout. The festivities continues Saturday night with the rodeo and dance. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids between 6-12. Children under 6 are free.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police are looking for a missing woman.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.