The Old Fort Days Rodeo is a community project sponsored by the Arkansas-Oklahoma Regional Education and Promotion Association, Inc. The Association, which is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit corporation, was organized exclusively for the purpose of educating and informing the residents of Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma about agricultural matters.
The first rodeo took place at Andrews Field, close to the Arkansas River near downtown Fort Smith, in 1933. It was billed as the “Pawnee Bill Rodeo” and featured the real Pawnee Bill from Pawnee, Oklahoma. Bill agreed to appear at the downtown parade and during the grand entry of every performance. The cost of entry to the rodeo was 65¢ and records show it was very well attended.