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Friday, May 6, 2016

Barnes' valued reputation leads to Big Show

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just how was the Barnes/MJM PRCA Rodeo of Cherokee and Peterson chosen as producer and stock contractor for the inaugural Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo scheduled for April 1-2-3 in 10,000-seat Boardwalk Hall Arena?

Well, let's allow Janet Markowitz, the official Chair of the 2011 Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo, to explain:

Janet Markowitz
"What's a nice Jewish girl know about professional rodeo? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!" she exclaimed during a recent telephone conversation touting the upcoming and historic East Coast PRCA Rodeo.

Markowitz, who owns Chester's Flowers in Atlantic City, said she was surprised when she was named Chair of the exciting first-ever event, but went out and bought a pair of cowboy boots and started researching just what it is that she got herself in to.

Bob and Donita Barnes
Although she had been given the name of an East Coast Rodeo Producer and Stock Contractor to book for the Boardwalk Rodeo, the enterprising Markowitz took it upon herself to contact dozens of state and county fairs, and rodeos large and small across the country to inquire about the best rodeo contractors out there.

"If you're going to do it right, you have to get the best out there," said Markowitz of her first foray into rodeo.

"The name Barnes kept popping up all over the place," laughed the personable Markowitz. "I was amazed at all the wonderful things everybody was telling me about Bob and Donita Barnes and their family. Their name just kept coming up. Finally, when I called a fair promoter, I think it was in Idaho, he said 'Don't get the Barnes family' and I was shocked. Then he said, 'They're just too perfect. Top to bottom. You won't have to worry about a thing. Everything is top quality. You book them and your work is done. They take care of everything. And, you're going to fall in love with them all."

Markowitz repeated the fact that the entire Atlantic City community has embraced John Barnes, who has been out there three times since the January press conference that announced the Rodeo.

"I'm just totally thrilled. Everyone out here loves John Barnes. I can't wait to meet the rest of the family. What people have told me about Bob and Donita, I can hardly imagine," said Markowitz."

John Barnes (blue shirt, second from right) and Dennis C. Gomes, Owner/President & CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City & the Atlantic City Special Events Task Force Chairman, pose for photos in front of Boardwalk Hall with horseback riders and a cowboy on stilts to publicize the upcoming Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo. Photo contributed
When told that the five Barnes Rodeo tractor trailers would be arriving next week - four full of stock and one full of gates and chutes, Markowitz wanted to know when and where so she could be there.

"You can't believe how excited Atlantic City is for this Rodeo," added Markowitz. "The casinos have all donated rooms for this event, and everyone wants John and the rest of the Barnes family. We're trying to spread them around, yet keep them together. What a wonderful feeling knowing they're coming here to be with us, to be a part of us, for such a family event."

As he should, Bob Barnes, 82, is thrilled to display all that PRCA Rodeo has to offer on such a big stage.

"It's our 60th year of going down the road," said Barnes in a Chronicle Times interview last week. "And I continue to be amazed at God's blessings that have been bestowed on our family.

The Boardwalk Hall Arena will host the Boardwalk Rodeo in Atlantic City.
"All we have ever done is work hard and realize a dream. We are blessed to have three wonderful children and their families who have helped us to where we are today. Hard work and being a man of your word pays off. That's what we live by.

"We are a family operation. Donita and I have three kids and now we have 10 grandkids. We're all in it together and we all work hard for our rodeos," said the man who has fostered the longest running PRCA Rodeo operation in the nation.

The PRCA-sanctioned rodeo will feature three performances: April 1-2 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) and at 1 p.m. on April 3.

"I know a lot of people and have met a lot of people," concluded Reading, PA. native Markowitz from her Atlantic City Boardwalk perch. "I meet new people every day in my business. But, from everything I've heard and from knowing John, I've never been so excited to meet the Barnes family. All of us just can't wait."

A couple minutes later, Markowitz telephoned back.

"I just wanted to tell you that we just booked the Oak Ridge Boys to sing the National Anthem at the Saturday night performance. I can't wait to introduce them to the Barnes family."

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