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Cody Canada and The Departed will be one of the featured concerts during this year's 70th anniversary of the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo. The group will perform on Sunday, May 29, to close out the weekend of rodeo and music. Adam Hood will perform Friday, May 27, and Cooder Graw will play Saturday, May 28. (PHOTO FROM THE CODY CANADA AND THE DEPARTED WEBSITE)

Cody Canada and The Departed will be one of the featured concerts during this year’s 70th anniversary of the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo. The group will perform on Sunday, May 29, to close out the weekend of rodeo and music. Adam Hood will perform Friday, May 27, and Cooder Graw will play Saturday, May 28. (PHOTO FROM THE CODY CANADA AND THE DEPARTED WEBSITE)

WILL ROGERS STAMPEDE WILL FEATURE CONCERTS WITH CODY CANADA AND THE DEPARTED, COODER GRAW AND ADAM HOOD

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Any significant birthday deserves a party, and organizers at the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo are planning a big one for this year’s event.

“We’re literally setting the stage for our 70th anniversary,” said David Petty, chairman of the volunteer committee that produces the annual Memorial Day weekend rodeo. “We want the whole community to come out and celebrate with us.”

The rodeo is set for Friday, May 27-Sunday, May 29, at Will Rogers Stampede Arena. Local bands will kick off each performance by playing at 6 p.m. The rodeo will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by concerts in the arena. Tickets are on through the event’s website, www.WillRogersStampede.com, and include family packs and adult passes offered at a significant discount online. Gates will open at 5 p.m.

Committee members are working to set up the stage area for the three shows, which will feature Texas Music/Red Dirt Music artists Adam Hood on Friday, Cooder Graw on Saturday and Cody Canada and The Departed on Sunday.

“We really wanted to tailor these concerts to the music we know people around here will love and appreciate,” Petty said. “We’re excited to have these great artists coming to Claremore this year, and we want this to be the best show in the area that weekend.”

Cody Canada and The Departed are no strangers to Oklahoma music fans. The four-piece band is built around Oklahoma music legends who have been entertaining the state’s rock, country and Americana fans for more than two decades.

Canada and bass player Jeremy Plato are holdovers from Cross Canadian Ragweed, one of the premier bands to come out of Oklahoma’s Red Dirt Music scene; Ragweed sold more than a million albums between 1994 and 2010. They are joined by drummer Eric Hansen and guitarist/keyboardist Ross Smith, both veterans of the Texas Music genre.

“To have Oklahoma music legends like Cody Canada and The Departed is a big deal to our rodeo,” Petty said. “They have a huge following across the country, but they’re legendary here in Oklahoma.”

Cooder Graw was a top-flight band in the genre for years. The group recently reunited to begin touring again, and they’re bringing their show to Rogers County for Memorial Day weekend.

“We spend a lot of time on the road back in the day doing 150-plus dates a year, and we needed some time away from the road and more time with our families,” front man Matt Martindale said on the band’s website. “It’s been a long time now, and I just can’t wait. I’m excited to see the guys, hang out with our old friends and reignite that part of our lives.”

Living in Alabama hasn’t stopped Hood from excelling in the Texas Music genre. He will kick start the festivities following the first performance of the rodeo. He will be the first artist to take the new stage being created on the rodeo grounds.

“We are building the stage on the east side of the arena in full view of the stands,” Petty said. “We’ll open the gates and let people get up close to all the acts to enjoy the show. We’ve been blessed to be the PRCA’s Small Rodeo of the Year the last two years, and we want everyone to enjoy this with us and see why we’re proud of the event we put on here in Claremore, Oklahoma.”

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