If youíve never been to the rodeo, you are surely missing out. For most of us, the rodeo is pure entertainment. For some of us, itís a way of life. The rodeo is an ongoing cowboy and cowgirl competition that moves from location to location. In areas of North America where you find steers and broncos, youíll find rodeos big and small. Personally, Iím a fan of both.
The smaller rodeos are more intimate than the big ones. Head to a small town in rural Texas or Wyoming, and youíll find a small rodeo complete with metal bleachers, a dirt arena and a local band playing when itís all said and done. The small rodeos are great if youíre just getting into the cowgirl thing because youíre able to see the action up close and personally, and you might even be able to mix with some of the local legends.
Your first rodeo might be something of a shock if youíre not used to the brutality of some of the sports. Thereís a reason people get beat up and even die at these events. An average size man on the back of an angry bull who weighs more than a ton is going to have pretty poor odds if he lands wrong under that bullís feet. Perhaps the bravest cowboys of them all are the rodeo clowns who work to distract the bulls when the rider needs a chance to pick himself up out of the dirt and get to the sidelines.
The small rodeos are accompanied by a fair usually and youíre able to enjoy all the best of the fair foods there are including fried candy bars and funnel cakes. Hokey thrill rides sit alongside more ďcountryĒ events like pig races and livestock shows. Always be sure to walk through the livestock shows when you visit the rodeo to see the animals Ė itís an education in itself.
The Big Rodeos
In the major cities such as Houston and Las Vegas, rodeo competitions take weeks to complete. The rodeo includes world-class athletes competing against each other and world-class entertainers
in many cases rounding out the night with a concert. There are only so many places that even the most urban girl feels a bit like a cowgirl queen and listening to George Strait for a few hours after watching cowgirls barrel race and cowboys ride bucking broncos is sure to do it. At some of the large rodeos, you can even enjoy fireworks after the concerts.
The rodeo in the big cities is held inside large stadiums where tens of thousands of people can sit in attendance. Outside the rodeo is a full carnival complete with dancehalls, rides and games. Itís an amusement park that will take you a full day to explore before you even head into the actual rodeo events. The rodeo only comes to town once a year, and itís only found in certain areas. If you live near a rodeo site, be sure to visit at least once. If youíve never been to the rodeo and donít live near one, make it a point to attend one in your lifetime. Itís an experience youíll never forget.