By Ted Harbin, Wrangler Network contributor
The town of Estes Park, Colorado, has been a destination community for more than 100 years.
It’s picturesque and vibrant, just like the Rocky Mountains that surround it, as if nature made the perfect backdrop for the town of more than 6.000 year-round residents. In 2015, it drew in more than 4 million visitors.
There’s much for Estes Park to celebrate including its annual Rooftop Rodeo, which will honor its 90th anniversary during its run from July 6-11.
“Estes Park is absolutely beautiful in July,” said Ben Vigil, president of Estes Park Western Heritage Inc., a group of volunteers that works with the town of Estes Park to produce the annual rodeo. “We have so much to offer our visitors throughout the year, but it gets especially nice in the summertime. At the Rooftop Rodeo, we’re glad to be part of an Estes Park summer, just as we have been for the last 90 years.”
Of course, it’s not just another rodeo; it’s an award-winning rodeo. After being named the PRCA’s Small Rodeo of the Year five times, Rooftop Rodeo upped its prize money. By doing so, it moved into the Medium Rodeo category. By not standing on its past accomplishments, the rodeo has been nominated for Medium Rodeo of the Year every year since.
“Every year we work hard to improve in every aspect of our rodeo,” said Mark Purdy, chairman of the Estes Park Western Heritage. “We would love to be the Medium Rodeo of the Year, but when we moved up a level, we also saw how many good rodeos there were in that category. Even though winning that title would be a feather in our cap, our main purpose is to put on the best rodeo for the contestants, then allow them to put on the best show for our fans.”
That makes the Rooftop Rodeo a win-win situation for all involved.