News & Notes From the Rodeo Trail, January 23

The Ellensburg (Wash.) City Council recently unanimously approved the creation of a rodeo-themed mural to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Ellensburg Rodeo.

“The (Ellensburg) rodeo has been the major event for the community since 1923,” Ellensburg Mayor Nancy Lillquist said. “It is the event that puts us on the national stage once a year. So, it is very important for the community.”

The mural will go on the west-facing section Craig’s Hill Reservoir water tower and will have approximate dimensions of 40 feet by 40 feet. It will overlook the Kittitas Valley Event Center Arena.

According to Lillquist, the mural will be framed “just above the grandstands” so as to be visible by the “majority” of visitors watching the rodeo.

The city’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee voted unanimously Dec. 13 to recommend the City Council approve $25,000 from the city’s Lodging Tax Fund for the mural. The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee oversees the tax revenue from the city’s hotel and motels.

According to city of Ellensburg Public Information Officer Nicole Klauss, the $25,000 mural price tag was determined by city staff after consulting with a local mural artist and sign company.

Currently, the mural is expected to last five years and will be “a short-term piece in honor of the rodeo’s 100-year anniversary,” according to Klauss.

According to Lillquist, the city’s Public Works and Utilities Department will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the mural over that five-year period. The upkeep costs of the mural will be included in the Craig’s Hill Reservoir water tower budget.

“We’re guaranteeing a five-year minimum,” said Lillquist. “But we need to still develop that plan for protection and maintenance.”

The city of Ellensburg will prioritize local and regional artists for the creation of the rodeo-themed mural.

According to an Ellensburg City Memorandum dated Jan. 17, the mural is to be completed by July 31. The Ellensburg Rodeo will take place Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-4.

Since 2001, the Greeley Stampede Foundation has given academic scholarships to graduating Weld County high school seniors to support the events mission to strengthen the community. Overall the Foundation has funded $735,540 to 642 well deserving students since its inception.

The Foundation has grown over the years from their first scholarship given for $500 to the recent $50,000 awarded annually. For 2023, the Foundation is again increasing the high school scholarship fund to $62,500 to award twenty-five $2,500 scholarships.

“We are really pushing to increase our impact on the community to show support for our students and their pursuit of higher education,” said Nyla Bristow, Greeley Stampede Foundation Chairman in a press release. “Our students work hard. Offering some financial relief to help them achieve their goals is why we created the Foundation.”

The 2023 scholarships will be awarded to graduating Weld County high school seniors based on the student’s academics, volunteer or work experience, extracurricular activities, and leadership. Recipients may use the scholarship at any accredited trade school, community college, university, or college.

Applications and more information on each scholarship is available at The completed online scholarship must be submitted by midnight on Feb. 28, 2023. Email Nyla Bristow at with questions regarding the high school scholarship program.

Courtesy of PRCA

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