Monterey County

2014 Salinas Rodeo kicks off with country music

Country singer Brad Paisley to take the stage Friday night

Salinas preps for Rodeo

SALINAS, Calif. - From concerts to carnivals, several big events are kicking off the 2014 Salinas Rodeo as Big Week starts Monday.

On Friday at 9 p.m., country singer Brad Paisley takes the stage before tens of thousands of people.

Vendors were busy Friday afternoon scrambling to set up at the Salinas Sports Complex. One bartender told News Channel 5 she was nervous about the large crowd this year.

"They're setting up the stage. They're making sure the midway is getting set up. There's going to be plenty of food available for purchase," said Mandy Linquist, marketing manager for the California Rodeo Salinas.

With country superstar Paisley in town, the economic impact of the already-booming California Rodeo Salinas could potentially get bigger.

"Typically in the year anywhere from $11 to $16 million is what the economic impact is from the rodeo and surrounding events, so it could be even more than that, adding to a huge concert where we expect over 11,000 people," Linquist said.

She said every year, the Top 15 rodeo nets anywhere from $250,000 to $350,000. All that money goes to local nonprofits. It's a win for organizations that need it the most, but the overall revenue also gives the local economy a much-needed boost.

"Of course it does trickle down, because people are staying in hotels, buying fuel and eating at restaurants, so it's great," she said.

Just six days away, attendees can expect cowboys, bull riders, barrel racing, and more, marking a tradition that's continued over the last hundred years.

Organizers said there will be enough security and police officers out at the event to deal with the big crowd.

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