It all started with a man named Jim Brown, a Bar called Floyd's and the idea to start a gay rodeo association back home. Jim set up shop in Dearborn, Michigan on April 12, 1994.
MIGRA Original and current Articles of Incorporation (5-24-1994)
MIGRA got to business by being seated at the 1994 IGRA Convention, and went from "Zero to Rodeo" in 14 months... Producing the first IGRA sanctioned rodeo in Michigan at the Michigan State Fairgrounds and Coliseum.
Rodeos were produced in 1996 and 1997. Around 1998, the "I" in MIGRA took on a new meaning... The MGRA acronym was already spoken for by the Missouri Gay Rodeo Association, however, the addition of Ohio and SW Ontario, Canada rounded out the five letters in MIGRA's name. That year, MIGRA also hosted it's 4th rodeo and the final rodeo to take place at the Michigan State Fairgrounds and Coliseum.
2004 saw the first MIGRA rodeo to take place at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Belleville, Michigan. MIGRA would also host the 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 rodeos at the same venue. Though a name change in 2012 to showcase the entire region surrounding the State of Michigan would fall into place. Coca-Cola would be the Presenter and major Sponsor of the 2013 rodeo.
MIGRA - Timeline of Events
April 12, 1994 - MIGRA is Founded by Jim Brown. Endorsed by the State of Michigan on May 24, 1994.
MIGRA is seated as a Member Association of IGRA at the 1994 convention in Little Rock.
1995 - MIGRA hosts the 1st Greater Motown International Rodeo at the Michigan State Fairground Coliseum.
1996, 1997, 1998 - MIGRA hosts the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Greater Motown International Rodeo.
1998 - MIGRA expands its territory to include Ohio and SW Ontario, Canada. Territory would revert back to just Michigan in 1999.
1999-2003 - MIGRA would engage in fundraising and events revolving around the community in SE Michigan. No rodeos were produced during this time.
2004 - MIGRA hosts its 5th Greater Motown International Rodeo. However, the rodeo would take place at a new venue, the Wayne County Fairgrounds near Belleville, Michigan.
2005-2009 / MIGRA would again take a pause from producing rodeo and focus on Community Involvement and participating at other IGRA rodeos.
2010 - Return of the Greater Motown International Rodeo at the Wayne County Fairgrounds. MIGRA's 6th sanctioned IGRA rodeo.
2011 - MIGRA produces its 7th IGRA sanctioned rodeo. The last rodeo to take the name Greater Motown International Rodeo.
Grand Marshall, Jim Brown
2012 - The 8th MIGRA rodeo gets a new name... the Great Lakes Regional Rodeo. Grand Marshall, Doug Graff
MIGRA adopts a 2 mile stretch of Ford Rd. in Canton, Michigan in partnership with the MDOT Adopt-A-Highway program.
2013 - MIGRA produces its 9th IGRA sanctioned rodeo. Great Lakes Regional Rodeo 2013. Coca-Cola is the Presenter and Major Sponsor. Grand Marshall, Bill Beetham
2014 to Present
MIGRA undergoes an extensive Board of Directors restructuring, time is spent minimizing and tailoring the By-Laws and Standing Rules to suit the needs of the Organization. The first MIGRA President's Awards is presented to Don Luczak, 2nd President's Award is presented to Tony Heimberger.
Many long term MIGRA Members pass away, including MIGRA Founder, Jim Brown. Jim Brown Obituary (Pride Source)
2020-2021 - MIGRA, like many other businesses and associations stand idle as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic.