Two-time world champion steer wrestler Luke Branquinho will be among contestants vying for top prize money at the 29th Annual Ramona Rodeo.
Branquinho will compete in the Saturday night show, the second of three Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) rodeo performances hosted by the Ramona Outdoor Community Center (ROCC). Friday and Saturday rodeos will start at 7:30 p.m. in the ROCC Fred Grand Arena at 421 Aqua Lane in Ramona Community Park. Ramona Rodeo Finals on Sunday will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
“We’ve got a full house of contestants,” said Joanie Georgeson, rodeo co-chair. “We have 51 bull riders, which is fantastic. People just love the bull riding. That is the biggest thrill for them.”
Georgeson and the rodeo crew stayed busy through Memorial Day weekend and into this week preparing the rodeo grounds and ROCC for rodeo festivities so everything looks perfect in time for television KUSI’s Mike Castellucci, who will be here today, May 28, before 6 a.m.
“Mike will be doing his entire morning show from the rodeo grounds, from 6 to 8,” said an excited Georgeson, adding, “Everyone’s welcome to come down during the filming.”
With Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow as the theme of the 2009 rodeo, look for an inclusive weekend of events. A tribute to nine-time world champion rodeo legend Casey Tibbs, who lent his name to Ramona’s rodeo until his death in 1990, will be Saturday night, and longtime Ramona Rodeo Announcer John William “Johnny” Pope III, who died in October, will be remembered in a tribute on Friday night.
This is the 20th anniversary of Tibbs’ last year as ringmaster of the Ramona Rodeo, so look for some of his rodeo and Hollywood friends who plan to be at Saturday night’s show.
A Cowboy Fashion Show presented by Kenrix Sushi Co. will be held in the ROCC Pavilion from 5 to 9:45 p.m. on Thursday. A cowboy auction and dance with music from Agavero Revue are part of the show.
Rodeo festivities will kick off with the Ramona Chamber of Commerce Mega Mixer, presented by ROCC at the rodeo grounds at 5 p.m. on Friday. Mega Mixer admission is $5 for chamber members and $10 for others, and those who want to stay for the Friday night show may purchase wristbands at $5 for chamber members and $7 for nonmembers to stay for the rodeo in the private area reserved for mixer guests.
Friday is Blockbuster Night, with 22 tickets sold in blocks for $150. Blockbuster ticker holders get preferred parking.
Dust will fly in the arena as professional cowboys and cowgirls vie for high points in the rough-and-tumble sport called the original extreme sport. Details of rodeo events and personalities are in the Sentinel’s May magazine available free in local businesses and at the rodeo.
Between shows, the rodeo committee has an array of activities planned from Kids Activities Day and a Challenged Children’s Rodeo to an old-fashioned rib cookoff, horseshoe tournament and free family dance. Vendors galore are promised, and the food will be great, committee members agreed.
General admission is $8 for Friday evening and Sunday afternoon and $12 for the Saturday night show.VIP tickets are $50 each or $400 for a table of 10.
“There is not one bad seat in this arena,” Georgeson said as she worked at the rodeo grounds Tuesday morning.
Details about ticket locations and more information about the rodeo are online at ramonarodeo.com and in the May issue of Sentinel Magazine.