Last Saturday I traveled to Preston, ID to attend my very first rodeo! It was quite the experience. I had no idea a rodeo was so long...3 hrs!
Upon arriving in the metropolis of Preston, we parked what felt like about 3 miles away from the actual rodeo arena. The main road was closed, which we later found out was due to an epically long parade. To get to the arena we passed the famous Preston High, home of Napoleon Dynamite and a huge blue rock (don't quite know what that was about), and then navigated our way through the "happening" parade. Pretty sure the entire town of 5,000 was there cheering and screaming. Every kid had a grocery sack in hand, hollering as each float drove by spraying laffy taffies, smarties, and other sweet treats into the crowd. Mini Cream 'O Weber milk jugs littered the sidewalk and roadway. Becky and I really wanted some chocolate and strawberry milk but we missed the boat; if only we'd been there half an hour earlier. While the floats and parade entries did not rival the Days of '47 parade in Salt Lake City by any means, the parade participants and attendees spirit couldn't be beat. Who knew a parade could be so exciting! I expected more cowboy hats, but those didn't really surface until we hit the rodeo scene. However, I've never seen so many pick-up trucks in one place.
When we hit the rodeo venue it was like a scene out of a low budget country music video, and I loved every minute of it. The smell of grilling burgers wafted through the air and carnival ride lights littered the sky. Alyssa and I wandered over to the concessions booth to grab a drink because we were thirsty and because we wanted to check out the hot guy serving the drinks that Kaili told us about. We both concluded that he had amazing eyes. Once we were back in the metal bleachers with the rest of the gang, Alyssa, David, and I proceeded to have a lengthy discussion about how girls can't pick out other girls that are hot and guys can't pick out other guys that are hot. Alyssa and I tried to prove him wrong but to no avail. He couldn't back up his argument either, so at least we ended the evening with all parties at a loss.
To kick-off the 75th That Famous Night Preston Rodeo, rodeo queens of all ages blitzed out into the arena, galloping around the stadium with one stiff hand raised in the air in an attempt to do a rodeo version of a parade wave. It looked more like an awkward salute. Not such a success rodeo queens; I think you have something to learn from the city princesses, or maybe they have something to learn from you. Although I did love their brightly colored wranglers. I had no idea wranglers came in aqua, hot pink, or purple. I need to get me some of those! My favorite event of the rodeo was by far the bull dogging aka steer wrestling. A steer is released from the pen the same time a cowboy on horseback gallops out to the arena, he jumps of his horse, tackling the steer by the horns, and then forces it to the grown and on it's back. It is the most hardcore thing I think I've ever seen. With no padding or anything, the guys just go for it! The most hilarious part of the evening was "Mutton Busting". These tiny little kids get on a sheep and hang on until they fall off, or in one kid's case, do a full-on somersault with the sheep until the cowhand helps him up and raises him to the crowd they way Mufasa raises baby Simba on Pride Rock. The kids serious look like little toy monkeys on top of the sheep. I can imagine them waiting to be released from the gate screaming, "No Daddy, No Daddy, I don't want to!!!" Guess if you ever want to ride a bull as an adult, you better start by riding a mutton as a tike. The bull riding was the very last event and the cowboys really sucked it up. Only 1 guy of probably about 20 was able to stay on the bull at least until the buzzer. Every other cowboy fell off 5 seconds or less into his ride. A little disappointing, but I definitely couldn't do any better. After all, bull riding is one of the most dangerous sports out there, so no thank you...I will just watch.
All in all, I was very pleased with my first rodeo experience. I would most definitely go again. I'll take any chance to celebrate my inner hick!