By Regina Elling
It’s one of the biggest events in the town of Ramona all year — the Ramona Rodeo, sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association and presented by the Ramona Outdoor Community Center.
This year’s theme is the Wild West, and rodeo organizers hope the entire town will feel the spirit.
The rodeo is all about horses and cattle, speed, agility, and teamwork of all kinds. It’s about a way of life that is part of history, yet, because so many respect and love the lifestyle, it continues to remain relevant today.
“We want everyone to feel like they are part of the Ramona Rodeo this year,” says Joani Georgeson, director of the ROCC and co-director of Ramona Rodeo. “We have all kinds of
ways for the public to participate and be a part of this special community event.”
So while the top PRCA contenders compete in bronc busting, team roping, barrel racing, tie-down roping, bareback riding, steer wrestling, and everyone’s favorite — bull riding — the fans will be able to stomp, cheer, and wave them on like never before.
When the rodeo begins on Friday night, May 18, Georgeson says the first 500 people through the gate will receive a free 11-inch by 18-inch American flag.
“Friday night is Patriot Night at the rodeo,” says Georgeson. “We want to see those flags waving in honor of our military.”
Friday night’s performance begins at 7:30; gates open at 5:30.
After the Friday rodeo, a Tuff Enuff Second Annual Dummy Roping will be held. Sponsored
by Kenrix Sushi & Co. and Sass Electric, the event presents $250 added money for a 75 percent payback.
Signups will start at 8 p.m., and continue until after the rodeo, at the ROCC Pavilion stage. There is no limit on teams that can be entered. Cost is $10 per team. For more information, contact Harlee McCluskey at 760-579-2603.
A huge way to get involved in this year’s rodeo action is the Main Street Parade. The theme is “R-Town” and it begins on Saturday, May 19, at 10 a.m.
“Ramona residents need to embrace and celebrate the very special community spirit we have here,” says Georgeson. “If you aren’t going to be in the parade, come on down and watch the parade. The parade will be full of all things rodeo, plus a lot more. It is truly
everything we love about Ramona.”
The parade route begins at 14th Street and travels along Main to Fifth Street, ending at the rodeo grounds off Aqua Lane. For more information about the parade, call 760-788-0811.
The PRCA action continues Saturday. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m. Ramona Rodeo will be in the pink, as in “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” Night.
“We want to see everyone wearing pink somewhere on their person,” says Georgeson. “We will even have pink Hawaiian-type leis available.”
All donations toward the leis will go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer
The crowd is also invited to participate in the free family dance, which takes place immediately after the Saturday night rodeo in the ROCC pavilion. The band Agavero Revue is performing. The dance is sponsored by Buckin Barbie’s Saloon and Grill.
Sunday, May 20 is not only a day of rodeo action for the entire family, but also a very special day for younger family members. Kids Day at the Rodeo will be set up in the pavilion, and the first 100-plus kids will receive free cowboy hats, bandanas, and cowboy ropes.
“This year is different, because parents don’t have to buy rodeo tickets for their kids to enjoy
Kids Day,” explains Georgeson. “We really feel it’s important for the kids to be able to enjoy the rodeo experience as much as everyone else.”
While at Kids Day, youth will be able to meet cowboys, cowgirls, and rodeo queens, ride horses, and participate in other activities. Dress your little ones in their best Western attire so they can compete in the Mr. Buckaroo and Miss Buckarette contest.
Kids Day, sponsored by Buckin Barbie’s Grill, begins at 11:30 a.m. and continues until 1 p.m.
Prior to Kids Day, the public is invited to Cowboy Church from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. At Cowboy Church, the sermon is short and simple, but meaningful to the participants, who are often unable to attend traditional church services due to life on the rodeo road.
Since the gates are open prior to each rodeo performance, there is plenty of time to look around and get a real feel for what happens before each event. Grab a bite to eat and suit up in some newly acquired Western wear and other gear from the numerous rodeo vendor booths.
“Food vendors this year will offer everything from coffee and beer to Hunter Steakhouse, Mexican, and Cuban food, and much more,” says Georgeson. “Come on out and get a different taste of the rodeo.”
Rodeo tickets are on sale at Elston Hay and Grain, at 2220 Main St., in the Ramona Business Barn at 369 Main St. and online at ramonarodeo.net. Buyers may choose from general seating, preferred seating, or VIP tickets.
For more information on anything Ramona Rodeo, call 760-788-0811, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit ramonarodeo.net. Feedback and comments are welcome.