Ramona’s 33rd annual rodeo broke a record before it even started. A record number of cowboys and cowgirls — 364 — are contenders in what promises to be another blockbuster weekend.
Presented by Ramona Outdoor Community Center and sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the show is in the award-winning Fred Grand Arena, 421 Aqua Lane, May 17-19. At a time when many small towns are dropping rodeos, Ramona’s is going strong. So many contestants are entered that two nights of slack, or overflow, are planned after the Friday show and Saturday show.
“Slack will be a rodeo in itself, because there are so many cowboys,” said Joani Georgeson, ROCC director and event chair.
Tied to the Ramona ROCC’s The Wild West mantra of the weekend is this year’s Home Sweet Home theme.
“We’re focusing on what Ramona’s all about,” said Georgeson.
To bolster the town’s Junior Fair and Ag Boosters, ROCC will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the Sunday afternoon VIP section to the two groups. “It’s all about Ramona,” repeated Georgeson.
Something new — mutton busting — will provide added entertainment during halftime Friday, and Ramona’s Rainbow Riders award-winning precision drill team, also called the Blue Angels on Horseback, will thrill fans with their fast-paced intricate maneuvers Saturday and Sunday.
Friday is Urban Cowboy Night with Mechanical Bull Jackpot competition in the pavilion after the rodeo. Entry fee is $40 with a 65 percent payback plus added money of $250. It’s open to anyone at least 18 years old.
Contestants will ride the mechanical bull as if it were the real thing, aiming for the highest score. A judge will
determine the score. Music, cowgirls and other fun will round out the evening.
Saturday’s a jam-packed day, with the Main Street Parade at 10 a.m., the rodeo show, and a free dance to the music of the country band Whiskey Ridge in the pavilion. It’s a family dance, open to all ages.
Sunday’s another busy day, with Cowboy Church in the Cowboy Hospitality area at 9:30 a.m., Kids Day in the pavilion from noon to 2 p.m. and the rodeo at 2:30 p.m.
In addition to the weekend rodeo and special events, spend time checking out what rows of vendors are offering, enjoy the variety of food, and sample some of the wine and beer and other refreshments.
Tickets are available at the gate and ramonarodeo.net, with advance tickets also at Ramona Business Barn, 369 Main St., and Elston Hay and Grain, 2220 Main St.
Ramonarodeo.net has all the details.