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Gates to Crack on St. Paul Rodeo Grandstand, Main Stage Entertainment

“We’re more than just rodeo”

Carlee Pierce barrel racing st paul 2014

The St. Paul Rodeo, the nation’s greatest Fourth of July rodeo, is June 30-July 4. Barrel racing is one of seven events featured at the rodeo, which also includes a Wild West Art Show and the Tack Room Saloon. Photo by Hoot Creek.

St. Paul, Ore. – When the St. Paul Rodeo stampedes into town, it brings a wagon load of entertainment!

Horses and bulls, cowboys and cowgirls dominate the scene every night, as the Pro Bull Riders kick off the week with bull riding on June 30. Then PRCA rodeo takes the stage with grandstand entertainment the evenings of July 1-4, with a matinee performance on July 4.

But there’s so much more to the St. Paul Rodeo than just rodeo. New this year is the Main Stage Tent. The tent, located just west of the rodeo arena, will feature plenty of activities before each rodeo for folks to enjoy.

On July 2, cowboy poet Tom Swearingen with Andy Bales on guitar will entertain, along with singing cowgirls, the Slow Ponies. On July 3, ESPN radio station 1080 The Fan will host a live remote from 3-7 pm, with interviews with rodeo cowboys and cowgirls and rodeo personnel, talking about their life on the rodeo trail. Admission to both events is free.

On July 3, the Main Stage Tent will host a rodeo party during the performance, with a closed circuit live viewing of the rodeo. Beer and wine will be available for purchase, and 1080 The Fan, the host of the night, will give away door prizes. The tent will be open for closed circuit live viewing on July 4 as well, for the 7:30 performance. Admission to the tent for either performance is $10.

The closed circuit live viewing is new to the rodeo this year, and an aspect that caters to families and the extra crowds, says Bill Smith, Director of the St. Paul Rodeo. “In past years, when our rodeo has been sold out, we’ve turned people away,” he said. “They may have driven a long ways to get to St. Paul, and then they find out there are no rodeo tickets. We don’t want them to leave mad or upset.” The live viewing is also good for families, in that it allows those with young kids to be able to move about more than they might in the grandstands.

On July 4, the Main Stage Tent will host its annual Great Western Barbecue Cook-Off and Reser’s Macaroni Salad Challenge. The Barbecue Cook-off, in its fifth year, is a fun competition for the title of “grilling wizards and kings and queens of sensational sauces!” It opens to the public from 11 am to 5 pm. Sample plates featuring St. Louis-style ribs or tri-tip, with Reser’s potato salad and a roll, will be available for purchase for $12/plate, with beverages also available. Last year’s winners were Bert’s BBQ (first place), 2 Honks (second place), and Slick’s Big Time BBQ (third place). The Reser’s Macaroni Salad Challenge will also take place on July 4 in the Main Stage Tent.

The extra entertainment in the Main Stage Tent this year is to give fans more bang for their buck, Smith said. “We want people to have something to do before the rodeo starts,” he said. “We want to entertain them while they’re waiting to go to the show. Our rodeo week is not one-dimensional; we’re more than just rodeo.”

More information can be found on the rodeo’s website at StPaulRodeo.com or by calling the rodeo office at 800-237.5920. Tickets for the rodeo are on sale online, through the ticket office, and at the gate. They range in price from $16 to $28.