By Regina Elling
“This year, we want the crowd involved,” says Joani Georgeson, and she is backing her words. As director of the Ramona Outdoor Community Center and co-director of the Ramona Rodeo, she has taken some cowboy-sized steps to see that everyone feels a part of the upcoming Ramona Rodeo.
“On Friday night, May 18, the first 500 people through the gate will receive an 11-inch by 18-inch American flag,” she said. “Friday night is Patriot Night and it’s our tribute to the military. And we want to see those flags waving in the stands in honor.”
On Saturday, May 19, the red, white, and blue turns pink.
“Saturday is our ‘Tough Enough to Wear Pink’ night, and we want to see everyone — men, women and children — all wearing pink,” said Georgeson. “We will be selling pink Hawaiian-type leis for $1 each, and the money will be given to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer foundation.”
Color Sunday, May 20, Kids Day.
“This year, Kids Day will be different because parents don’t have to buy a rodeo ticket to bring their youngsters to Kids Day at the rodeo,” Georgeson explained. “We will set up in the pavilion and the first 100-plus kids will get free cowboy hats, bandanas, and ropes.”
Sponsored by Buckin Barbie’s Grill, there will also be a Mr. Buckaroo and a Miss Buckarette contest, horses for the youngsters to ride, and cowboys and other rodeo personnel for them to meet.
Georgeson said several other changes have been made to this year’s rodeo to encourage crowd participation.
“The grounds have been redesigned,” she said. “The VIP section is on the opposite side of the arena and is worth the extra money. You’ll get a clear view of the cowboys as they come out of the chutes, and you’ll be sitting right next to the rodeo contestants and their families. This is the place to see the action.”
There will also be multiple food vendors this year. In addition to the traditional hamburgers and other rodeo fare, vendors will offer everything from coffee and beer to Cuban and Mexican food, and even Hunter Steakhouse.
Tickets for the rodeo are on sale at Elston Hay and Grain, 2220 Main St., and Ramona Business Barn, 369 Main St., as well as online, RamonaRodeo.net. Buyers may choose general seating, preferred seating, or VIP tickets.
By purchasing the general seating individual three-day pass, buyers pay $25 and save $10.
The May 18 general seating tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 6 and above. The gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m.
Preferred seating tickets for Friday night are $15. Friday night’s individual VIP tickets are $50, a Buck-A-Roo table for 10 is $460, and the Elite table for 10 is $600.
On Saturday, May 19, all general ticket seats are $15. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m.
Preferred seating tickets are $20. Saturday’s individual VIP tickets are $60; the Buck-A-Roo tables are $540, and the Elite tables are $700.
A free family dance with the band Agavero Revue performing will start immediately after the Saturday night performance.
All VIP tickets include one meal ticket and two drink tickets.
All Buck-A-Roo tickets purchased online receive a meal ticket, two drink tickets, a VIP parking discount and first-come, first-choice seating in the lower VIP seating area.
All VIP Elite tickets purchased online include one meal ticket, two drink tickets, a VIP parking discount, and seating in the high-rise area, close to the action with the rodeo sponsors.
On Sunday, May 20, Cowboy Church takes place from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., and Kids Day activities begin at 11:30 and continue until 1 p.m.
Sunday’s adult general seating tickets are $10; $5 for kids age 6 and above. Gates open at 12:30 p.m. and the rodeo begins at 2:30 p.m. Preferred seating tickets are $15.
For more information on anything Rodeo, call 760-788-0811, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit RamonaRodeo.net.