Beginning July 1, Emma Street in downtown Springdale will resemble a scene out of the Old West as cowboys and cowgirls from all over the country converge on northwest Arkansas for the 71st annual Rodeo of the Ozarks.
The rodeo has been an Independence Day holiday tradition in northwest Arkansas since its founding in 1944.
Sach Oliver of the Bailey & Oliver Law Firm is a member of the Rodeo of the Ozarks Board of Directors and puts in many volunteer hours to make the rodeo successful.
“The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association ranks our rodeo as one of the top five outdoor rodeos in the country, and we are very proud of that,” Sach says. “We work to make the rodeo better every year and make this a place where the professional riders, and out paying customers, look forward to coming.”
This year’s rodeo will begin with an opening parade on Wednesday, July 1, at 3 p.m. It will begin at Parsons Stadium and proceed west on Emma Street. The 4th of July parade held on the last day of the rodeo will follow the same route and will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 4.
The rodeo will begin every evening at 7:30, and will include exciting events such as bull riding, team roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and saddle bronc riding.
“I’m a team roper, but the most exciting eight seconds of your life is watching a cowboy try to stay on a bucking bronco,” Sach explained. “You just can’t beat it.”
There will even be competition for children.
Beginning at 6:30 every night, children ages 4-6 can participate in the Mutton Bustin’ competition by riding a sheep out of a bucking chute and into the arena.
The Goat Dressing team competition is for children ages 7-9 where three-person teams must work together to put a pair of boxer shorts on a goat.
And for children 9-11, there’s the Calf Scramble where kids must chase down a calf and place a ribbon on its tail.
Tickets are available now and can be purchased at www.rodeooftheozarks.com. Tickets purchased prior to the day of the show will include a discount. Gates will open nightly at 6 p.m.
“This is a rodeo for everyone in the family, regardless of age,” said Sach. “It’s good, clean wholesome family fun that projects a positive image of our region. That’s why I, personally, and the Bailey and Oliver Law Firm are involved.”
The Shiloh Museum in Springdale, AR has an online exhibit titled Rodeo Days. Connect here to the Museum website to read more about the rodeo and scroll through some of their photos.