The Canyonlands Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo is in town this weekend.
An annual event since 1946, the Canyonlands rodeo and carnival features a full rodeo and carnival events to entertain people of all ages.
Doors open nightly at 6 p.m. The grand entry starts at 7:30 p.m. The rodeo is Thursday, May 31, Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2 at the Old Spanish Trail Arena.
More than 100 volunteers spend all year planning and organizing the event, said Kirk Pearson, president of the Canyonlands PRCA Rodeo.
“Each year, we’re trying to reach out to the community to get more and more involved,” Pearson said. “We used to have an old western downtown and shootouts. Everyone would dress up downtown.”
This year, organizers encouraged downtown businesses to decorate their storefronts like the old west, in honor of the rodeo.
Emery Telcom was among several businesses that did so.
A rodeo parade is planned for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 2. Businesses who want to participate can register online. Everyone is welcome to watch.
The parade leaves Swanny City Park, heads south on 100 West, then east on Center Street to Main Street before heading south to Uranium Avenue. From there, the parade will head east on Uranium Avenue where it will end at Grand County Middle School.
The evening event features a carnival for the third year. Kids should especially like that, Pearson said.
This year, kids can take part in a variety of activities:
— “Mutton-bustin.’” For kids between 6 and 10 years old who weigh less than 75 pounds. This involves children riding or racing sheep – and attempting to stay on.
— Stick pony races. Rodeo organizers teamed with some senior citizens to make stick ponies for kids to ride and race.
— Greased pig contest – as it sounds. Winners will get a belt buckle and other prizes.
“Everybody should come,” Pearson said. “It supports our local community. It’s a great performance. The specialty act, the clown, does a great job.”