Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay: Carbondale rodeo starts June 6
Post Independent staff
CARBONDALE — It is rodeo time again, and the Carbondale Wild West Rodeo at the Gus Darien Riding Arena on Catherine Store Road (CR 100) will open its gates for the 2013 season at 5:30 p.m. on June 6.
This is the 10th year for the rodeo, which is put on by the Carbondale Wild West Rodeo Association and will run through Aug. 22.
Admission fees have stayed the same this year as in 2012 — $10 per person or $30 per carload (six people or fewer). For each additional individual beyond six, it is $5 per person. Children younger than 10 get in for free.
Seating is either in the two grandstands along the southern side of the arena, or in the parking area to the north and east of the arena, which is where the tailgate parties take place.
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Because of the growing popularity of the event, it has for years been necessary to hold what are known as the Slacks starting at 6 p.m., which is a kind of a qualifying event for the large overflow of competitors who show up for every rodeo.
Typically, the Slacks feature barrel racers and ropers, the two events that have the most contestants each night. The performance of competitors in the Slacks, according to the CWWR rules, counts toward the buckle contest and the nightly rodeo contest.
The actual rodeo does not start until 7:30 p.m., with the Grand Entry of the Rodeo Royalty and their entourage.
A few changes have been made for this year, according to CWWR President Mike Kennedy.
Among them is a new event, Ranch Bronc Riding, which calls for riding on regular ranch saddles and has different, less stringent stylistic rules than traditional bronc riding.
“It’s more hanging on, staying in the saddle for eight seconds, however you can do that,” said Kennedy with a laugh,
Another new item this year will be a Fourth of July Rodeo, “the first time we’ve had one in years,” said Kennedy.
He said the association decided to hold a July Fourth event because, with it likely that the drought will cancel the fireworks displays, there will not be a lot going on in town.
Another change for 2013 will be the food vending contract, which has gone to Slow Groovin’ Barbecue of Marble, who takes over from a decade of service by Big Momma’s Catering, owned by Cathy Ortiz of Carbondale.
“We thought it was time for a change,” said CWWR past president Dave Weimer. “It had nothing to do with her.”
But the mainstays of the rodeo — mutton bustin’ and bull riding, barrel racing and team roping, to name a few — remain.
More information on the CWWR can be found at the organization’s website, carbondalerodeo.com.
In addition to the CWWR rodeos, there will be an occasional Mexican Rodeo, conducted in the traditions established by small-town rodeos in the state of Chihuahua, in northern Mexico.
Organizer Mario Tarin, who originally is from Chihuahua, said the Mexican version will be held on June 16, starting at around 3 p.m.
“It’s pretty much the same as the other one, except for the music,” said Tarin.
He predicted that Mexican rodeos might be held once a month or so, to meet a need expressed by the area’s Latino population.
“People keep saying they want something to do, something on Sundays, to remind them of Mexico a little bit,” he explained.
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