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Going Wild

Red Bluff woman helped coordinate Wild Ride costumes for the Round-Up

Maryanne Montandan and her helpers pose behind the chutes at the 2015 Wild Ride at the Red Bluff Round-Up. Maryanne helped organize costumes for cowboys for the past dozen years. From left to right: Maryanne Montandon, Amy Jo Anderson, Jeanne Thomas, Katie Mofield, Denise Zazueta, and Haley Didio.

Maryanne Montandan and her helpers pose behind the chutes at the 2015 Wild Ride at the Red Bluff Round-Up. Maryanne helped organize costumes for cowboys for the past dozen years. From left to right: Maryanne Montandon, Amy Jo Anderson, Jeanne Thomas, Katie Mofield, Denise Zazueta, and Haley Didio.

Red Bluff, Calif. (March 30, 2016) – The Wild Ride is a fun tradition at the Red Bluff Round-Up.

Every Sunday, on the last day of the Round-Up, cowboys don crazy costumes and ride bucking horses, for the honor being the Wild Ride champ, a check for $1,000, and a prize saddle.

Cowboys have dressed up in all kinds of costumes, and the lady responsible for those costumes for the past dozen years is Red Bluff’s own Maryanne Montandan.

The former preschool teacher (now a teacher at Red Bluff High School) has gathered ideas and costumes for the Wild Ride for the past twelve years, and she’s been the creativity behind the unique costumes, including the Lone Ranger, Tonto, the Beer Knight, and more.

Each year, Maryanne would keep a running list of potential costume ideas, some of them from current events. “As the year went by, I’d have a note in my phone, and write down the ideas that popped up. Or people would say, ‘this would be a funny Wild Ride costume.’”

Some of the past costumes she’s devised included Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Ugly Betty, Kid Rock, Paris Hilton, the Octomom, Katniss (from the Hunger Games), Beetle Juice, a Sons of Anarchy character, Flo from the Progressive commercials, Psy, the singer of Gangnam Style, and others.

The cowboys, who are usually also competing during the pro rodeo in Red Bluff, occasionally come with their own costumes, but usually not. Maryanne made trips to Goodwill stores to find costumes, or purchased them online from a costume company.

The cowboys turn into “little kids” during the Wild Ride, Maryanne said. “Put somebody in costume, and they change their demeanor,” she said. “It’s fun to watch these tough guys. You put a dress on them and they’re flirting with the other guys, or sucking in their stomach because they’re a bikini barrel racer. It’s fun.”

The atmosphere behind the chutes changes as well. It goes from business-like to Halloween-like. “The silly string, the powder” all comes out, and “I feel like I’m back in the classroom,” she chuckles.

The Wild Ride is popular with fans, too. Donna Schilling, a long-time fan from Corning, comes with her family to the Round-Up on Sunday. “I love to see what kinds of costumes they come up with.”

Last year was the last time Maryanne coordinated the Wild Ride costumes. This year, sisters Hailey and Megan Didio will take it over. It’s a volunteer job, and Maryanne is ready to sit with her family during the rodeo on Sunday instead of helping with costumes. “I have skybox seats I don’t get to use,” she said.

The Wild Ride will take place at the end of the Round-Up on Sunday, April 17, the third and final performance of the rodeo. The rodeo also takes place on Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16. Tickets are available online at RedBluffRoundup.com and at the Round-Up office. They range in price from $14 to $26. For more information, call the Round-Up office at 530.527.1000, visit the website at RedBluffRoundup.com, or find the event on Facebook and Twitter.