The Rodeo in Kalispell MT
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to attend a rodeo? Perhaps you’re reading this because you’ve participated in one before. Or because you love horses. Last night I attended the second night of the three-night Northern Rodeo Association championship at the Majestic Valley Arena in Kalispell. It was my first-ever rodeo and here’s how it went.
First, the entire atmosphere was one of excitement and fun. I truly did not see one cranky looking person. People who were trying to get to a seat on the inside part of the bleachers were laughing about the experience. One guy who got up a few times to go get more food or drink asked if he could buy us a drink for the inconvenience. When the announcer said yell or clap, everyone did. The energy was fun and uplifting.
Second, while probably all rodeos are not the same, at this one there was not one moment where something wasn’t going on. We got there about a half hour before the rodeo was supposed to start. But we were not sitting around bored and antsy. Instead, country singer Glen Templeton was serenading us. He’d tell a little story in between songs, and kept us entertained until the rodeo was ready to begin. As soon as it was time for the rodeo, he exited by driving his truck and equipment out of the arena. Immediately the festivities and rodeo started. Once it did, one event followed another with absolutely no down time in between.
So what did we see?
Cowboys and cowgirls participating in multiple events such as:
Calf roping, as a single rider or in teams. The rider would burst out at the same time as the calf, and within a few seconds (or more), stop the running calf. They were judged on time, assuming they did everything correctly. When it was a pair of riders, they would chase the calf and one would rope the horns and one would rope the feet, again within seconds. There were also riders who would have to rope the calf and then tie it’s feet. Within seconds, the calf was freed and running out of the arena.
Bronco riding, both bareback and with saddles, was amazing. I truly have no idea how those riders can stay on, or how it’s possible that more of them don’t get hurt. The rider’s bodies are bopping back and forth like rag dolls. Yikes. If they can hang on for 8 seconds without touching the horse or their body with their left hand, they’ve succeeded. And then it’s a matter of scoring the rider. In my book, they should have all received a “100!”
Is there still time to attend?
The Northern Rodeo Association’s rodeo season runs from June to September. For the 2019 year, tonight (October 26th) is the last night of the final championships. So if you are in northern Montana and are looking for something interesting to do, check it out! The arena is on Route 93 North of Kalispell. Just look for the place with all the trucks and people with cowboy hats walking towards the door. That’s it! Also, a note – you can’t bring your own food or drinks in, but both are available at the arena. And tickets are $15 or $20 for adults (depending on where you would like to sit). Also, a lot of people brought their own seats which clipped onto the bleachers. We didn’t have anything to sit on, and it would have made it more comfortable.
This has been another post about what is going on in the Kalispell Montana area. These are fun because I get to check everything out myself!
For more information about events in Montana, click here, and for Kalispell general information, here.