GLAD YOU ASKED: Covering protects Corn Palace floor for bull-riding eventQ. If dancers at the now defunct Polka Festival damaged the gym floor at the Corn Palace, why is bull riding being allowed?
Q. If dancers at the now defunct Polka Festival damaged the gym floor at the Corn Palace, why is bull riding being allowed?
A. According to Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling, the Corn Palace’s gym floor will be protected during bull riding by a special covering of plastic, then plywood and more plastic, followed by wood shavings, all covered by a dirt-sand mixture to form the arena floor. Unlike the rodeo bulls, which can weigh 2,000 pounds, Polka Festival attendees danced directly on the gym floor, which Schilling said “almost acted like sandpaper” and took off the finish, making it slippery and causing problems for others who use the floor.
Buying a surface specifically for the Polka Festival was considered, Schilling said, but as the festival was already losing money, Schilling said he couldn’t justify spending $25,000 on a dance floor knowing he almost certainly wouldn’t see a return on the investment.
Event organizer Sheldon Tobin is responsible for paying the expenses associated with converting the Corn Palace floor for bull riding.
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