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Rodeo of the Ozarks July 1st-4th


The 4th of July brings fireworks and family time, but this year it’s time to dust off your boots, put on your cowboy hat and celebrate in true Arkansas style. The 71st Rodeo of the Ozarks will be held at Parsons Stadium in Springdale July 1st-4th and you’re in for a rollicking time.


The Rodeo of the Ozarks began in 1944 to reinvigorate a war weary town with patriotism and good old fashioned family fun. Seventy-one years later, the fun continues with more events than ever. The Rodeo of the Ozarks is one of the top five largest outdoor rodeos in the U.S. and attracts contestants from all over the nation to compete in bull riding, barrel racing, roping and more. The rodeo also features the Miss Rodeo of the Ozarks Queen Pageant, two parades, clowns, and trick riding.


With the rodeo spread out over four days, it might be hard to choose which night to attend. On June 30th, you can get a sneak peek at the rodeo as they hold the “slack” performance, where contestants compete in timed events for the first time. Slack night is free to the public and can give you a taste of what’s to come when the rodeo officially begins the next day.


My favorite part of the rodeo takes place outside of the stadium. The rodeo includes two parades, the first to kick off the rodeo, and the second as a celebration of Independence Day. This year, the rodeo parade begins on Wednesday, July 1st at 3 p.m. The parade starts at the rodeo grounds and proceeds directly west down Emma Avenue into the heart of a revitalized downtown Springdale. Come early to stake out a good spot to watch the horses, performers, pageant contestants and floats parade by. Kids should be ready to gather candy. Parents will want to bring a bottle of water, a folding chair, and sun protection.


The 4th of July parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday the 4th. Once again, horses, cars, clowns, cowboys and cowgirls will take to Emma Avenue in support of the parade’s theme, A Patriotic American Classic. Wear your red, white and blue and join in the fun.


This year, Rodeo of the Ozarks is holding several youth events. Mutton Bustin’ will be held each night for kids ages 4-6. Contestants will ride a sheep and see who can hold on the longest. Kids ages 7-9 can participate in the goat dressing competition, working in teams of three to dress their goat. Older children ages 10-12 can run in the calf scramble and attempt to grab a ribbon from a calf’s tail. All youth events will run every night of the rodeo. I conducted a quick poll among past rodeo attendees and mutton bustin’ was among the favorites! You don’t want to miss it. Check out how to sign up online.


Another event that runs throughout the entire rodeo is the Miss Rodeo of the Ozarks Queen Pageant. Young women compete in horsemanship, interviews, modeling and more. The Queen will represent Springdale and the spirit of the Rodeo of the Ozarks for a year.

Tickets for the rodeo range from $7-$23. Children 2-12 will need a ticket but children under 2 are free. Outside food and drinks are not permitted, but vendors and concessions will be available within the stadium. You can find more detailed information on seating and events and purchase tickets at rodeooftheozarks.org.


Fireworks will cap off the final night of the rodeo on July 4th, a tradition that dates back to the inaugural rodeo of 1944. This year, celebrate the 4th of July with an Arkansas tradition, the Rodeo of the Ozarks!


Rodeo of the Ozarks Schedule of Events and Information

June 30th: “Slack Night” Performance begins at 5 p.m. This event is FREE and includes timed events like barrel racing, roping and bronco riding.

July 1st: Rodeo of the Ozarks Parade at 3 p.m.

July 1st-4th: Rodeo of the Ozarks. Gates open at 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.

6:00 p.m. Gates open for admission.

6:30 p.m. Youth events (mutton bustin’, dress a goat, calf scramble)

7:15 p.m. Junior Grand Entry

7:30 p.m. Grand Entry and Rodeo Events

July 4th: Fourth of July Rodeo Parade 10:00 a.m.

Final night of the Rodeo of the Ozarks, crowning of Miss Rodeo of the Ozarks Queen, and a fireworks display immediately following the conclusion of the rodeo.

All rodeo events take place at Parsons Stadium in Springdale. Parades begin at the rodeo grounds and proceed directly west down Emma Avenue in Springdale.

Rodeo of the Ozarks logo and rodeo photos used with permission by Rodeo of the Ozarks.

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Kimberly S. Mitchell loves journeys, real or imagined. She has hiked the Inca Trail, walked into Panama on a rickety wooden bridge and once missed the last train of the night in Paris and walked several miles home (with friends). She believes magic can be found in life and books, loves to watch the stars appear, and still dreams of backpacking the world. Now she writes adventures to send her characters on journeys, too. Pen & Quin: International Agents of Intrigue - The Mystery of the Painted Book is her debut novel. Find out more at KSMitchell.com.

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