The 4th of July kicks off with celebrating 'Freedom Has a Birthday'. This acts as the catapulting event for celebrating Wyoming's statehood.
Around here it's known as Jubilee Days.
This event runs about a week long and ranges from the rodeo, street vendors, a parade, a carnival, bands downtown, and many 'mini-events' as well.
We tended to take part in the rodeo and Jubilee Days parade when we'd vacation out west.
This year was no different.
The rain and wind started as we drove into the parking lot. We piled out and made our way to the grandstand.
We claimed our seats and watched as the 'rodeo zamboni' prepped the field for play.
|The 'rodeo zamboni' making it's way around the field. Don't ask, but this is an exciting eventt for our family.|
With the rain in the sky and sun shining through, we were blessed with a beautiful rainbow to start the show.
|What a beautiful rainbow!|
Next came the pre-show of Muttin' Bustin'.
|A little one holding on tight as the sheep runs around.|
A fun loving little display of young ones - ages 4-7 - riding on the backs of sheep. The prequel to bucking broncos, you might say. Quite amusing, but also heart stopping for this mama.
|Older kids have to hold on one handed.|
I asked Charity and Selah if they thought they'd participate next year. Selah emphatically shook her head no while Charity, after a short time of pondering, decided "I'll do it ONLY if it's out there (pointing to the freshly plowed dirt field) and not on the street AND if it's NOT RAINING!" Gotta have your standards.
Next was honoring the rodeo participants, our veterans, and our United States Flag. I was thrilled to snap this picture that I think simply epitimizes the cowboy country pride.
|The cowboys under the flag were just cool.|
Finally the rodeo was under way.
The bucking broncos - either bareback or with sadle - are one of my favorites. I cringe and squeal through the whole thing. I missed some GREAT shots b/c I was clenching my camera tightly against my chest, breath held, as horses fell on top of contestants, until they stood up and walked - of their own accord - off the field. Crazy times, I tell ya.
|Amazing! and OUCH!|
|Up, up, and.....|
Calf roping is such an amazing thing to watch. Can YOU imagine picking up a 400 lb cow to rope it? I sure can't.
|Nothing like picking up a several hundred pound cow!|
A kids event, in which children ages 4-7 were brought out onto the field to chase a sheep in an attempt to retrieve a ribbon tucked under a collar around it's neck, acted as a mini-intermission b/w events. Charity took part in this chaos, I mean activity. Can you pick her out in this crowd? The winner -- the child who successfully pulled the ribbon off the sheep -- got a prize.
|There's our girl! Chasing a sheep. Yes, she's the one in|
the pink dress!
Ready for this? The prize was a ONE HUNDRED dollar bill. Can I chase the sheep next time?
|The winner of the sheep chase! He's a happy kid.|
More bucking broncos to get the crowd cheering. See how the cowboys on the side jump to safety as those horses head their way?
Yowza! That smarts.
|Around the barrel......|
The barrel riding - although not as heart stopping as the bucking broncos - is quite impressive. Personally I'd be splat on my face if I tried to ride a horse the way those young ladies accomplished.
|....straight to the finish!|
A little comic relief allowed the bulls and riders to prep for competition.
|The rodeo clown on his 'deluxe compact car'!|
The bull riding contest was quite fascinating. Let me just say that THOSE BULLS ARE BIG!!! I wouldn't want to be out there on one. It was getting dark, so my pics aren't quite as clear on these, but still ---- you can get an idea of what we witnessed.
|This bull just wan't in the mood to buck.|
|This one, however, was!|
|As was this one, who bucked the rider right off!|
The most hysterical portion of the night was the cowboys trying to get this huge bull, 'The Tax Man', off the field after he successfully threw his rider. As you can see, it was no easy feat. He wasn't budging and the cowboys were wise enough than to push and pull him too hard. He finally made his way behind the gate so the show could go on.
|It took all these guys plus 2 more on horses a good long while to get this bull back in the pen! He. Was. Huge!|
The kids had fun. I'm not sure if the little ones enjoyed the rodeo or the snow cones better, but.... either way, it was a fun family night out.
|Loving on Aunt Biff!|
|Watching the action!|
|No clue who this little guy is, but LOVED the image! Cowboy west at it's best!|