The history of cowboys and cowgirls is quite an important part of North America’s past. However, Wild West events are still popular today in the form of rodeos. These are 10 of the best in North America with one French rodeo also making the list.
1. Saint-Agrève, France – EquiBlues
This annual rodeo was born in 1996. It lasts about five days and features a number of events such ascountry music, line dancing, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, and bull riding. The 2012 rodeo will wrap up on Sunday, August 19 and will feature a host of cowgirls and cowboys competing for several cash prizes
2. Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA – Cheyenne Frontier Days
This is regarded as the biggest outdoor rodeo on the globe. The roots of Cheyenne Frontier Days can be traced back to 1897. There are prizes for competitors totaling over $1 million. You’ll find a variety of Wild West attractions and activities as well as pancake breakfasts, square dancing, an art show, parades, a carnival midway, and an air show.
3. Calgary, Alberta, Canada – The Calgary Stampede
The history of the famous Calgary Stampede reaches all the way back to 1912. It’s now one of the most successful and popular annual events in Canada. The 2012 edition was the 100th anniversary of the rodeo and attracted thousands of visitors from all over the world. Along with the rodeo, you’ll also witness a parade, chuck-wagon derby, concerts, agricultural and animal displays and grandstand shows.
4. Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada – The Williams Lake Stampede
This rodeo began in the mid-1920s and it features a range of activities such as ladies barrel racing, bull riding, saddle-bronc and bareback riding, tie-down roping and steer wrestling. As well as the entertaining rodeo, you can also enjoy camping and fishing at Williams Lake.
5. Pendleton, Oregon, USA – The Pendleton Roundup
The Pendleton Roundup has been entertaining folks for just over 100 years now. The most popular event at this rodeo is bull riding. Cowgirls and cowboys have one hand strapped to the back of the bull while riding it and have to remain on the animal for a minimum of eight seconds. There are other events such as parades, pageants and Wild West shows.
6. Dodge City, Kansas, USA-Dodge City Days
Dodge City Days was launched back in 1960 and the rodeo has evolved into a 10-day event. As well as the rodeo there are things such as concerts, barbecues, an arts-and-crafts fair, a parade, and a golf tournament. The event also features a cowboy gunfight and car show. There are plenty of things for youngsters too, such as a teen pageant and kiddie parade.
7. Saint-Tite, Quebec, Canada – The Festival Western de St-Tite
This event takes place between Quebec City and Montreal in the community of Saint-Tite, which has been the home of leather makers and lumberjacks over the years. There are plenty of leather crafts on hand as well as barrel racing, team roping, and bull riding.
8. Greeley, Colorado, USA – The Greeley Stampede
The Greeley Stampede was born back in the late 1800s as a way to pay tribute to the region’s potato farmers. The event now features saddle-bronc riding, team roping, and bareback riding. In addition, there’s a monster truck show, demolition derby, sheep stampede, and a children’s rodeo.
9. Prescott, Arizona, USA – Prescott Frontier Days
Prescott Frontier Days began back in 1888, which makes it the oldest-known rodeo on the planet. The most popular attraction is the bull riding event and it will take place on August 12 in 2012. There are numerous other activities including dances, a parade, pageant, and arts and craft show.