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When summer rolls around in our great state, there are two things that are guaranteed to happen: July heat and the Rodeo of the Ozarks. This year marked the 70th year for the deluge of rugged cowboys, glittery cowgirls, and painted clowns to arrive in Springdale. Because of the rich tradition and the timing of the event during the 4th of July week, the Rodeo of the Ozarks is a very popular event for competitors and spectators alike. In fact, it has been promoted as one of the Top 5 Largest Outdoor Rodeo events in the country.
The Rodeo of the Ozarks provides four nights of family entertainment filled with calf roping, bull riding, barrel racing, mutton bustin’ for the kids, and more. For lots of folks who grew up in the city, this is their one chance each year to get up close to some real cowboy action. Even if you think rodeo isn’t your thing, at least show up for a turkey leg or freshly fried pork rinds.
Arguably the biggest highlights of rodeo week are the two rodeo parades along Emma Avenue in historic downtown Springdale. Traditionally, the first parade marks the kickoff of rodeo week and the second parade is held on the closing day. The route is closed off to traffic and people donned in red, white, and blue line both sides of the street, seeking whatever shade tree is available. The lucky ones get a good spot right in the center of the route, where they can hear parade announcer Dusty Richards call out entries loud and clear.
You can count on parade staples such as fire trucks, antique cars, politicians and marching bands. But, there’s also something extra special about the patriotic theme and waving to the horse riders of all ages in this parade. The Rodeo of the Ozarks Rounders, a group of ladies who are ambassadors for the event, are always a crowd favorite with their beautiful costumes and perfectly groomed horses. Other parade highlights are the cowboys who have traveled all week by wagon train to attend, regional rodeo queens, and the talented trick roper who rides atop an 18-wheeler; even the Duggar family has shown up in the parade a few times over the years!
Mark your calendar to celebrate our nation’s birthday next year at the Rodeo of the Ozarks and see why people have been moseying on over to Springdale for over 70 years, making great memories and creating traditions for their little cowboys and cowgirls.
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