Rodeo runs through Saturday in Iron River
IRON RIVER — The 52nd annual U.P. Championship Rodeo brings a family-friendly set of western activities to Iron River this weekend.
The event schedule is similar to last year, but “each year’s rodeo is a little different, with different vendors, different entertainment and different cowboys,” said Bernadette Coates, president of the rodeo committee.
Rodeo performance tickets cost $15 for adults, $5 for ages 6 to 12 and free for younger children.
The official Rodeo Kick-Off event is 6 to 9 p.m. today at Iron County Economic Chamber Alliance, 50 E. Genesee St. in Iron River. Participants can enjoy live music, a cornhole tournament, food and beverages. The Rodeo Tailgate Cookout that usually takes place today at Angeli Food has been cancelled for this year.
Friday starts off at 8 a.m. with the Rodeo Queen and Rodeo Princess horsemanship competition at the rodeo arena. Market Days in downtown Iron River and the Friends of the Library book and bake sale at the West Iron District Library both are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
At 11 a.m., the Rodeo Queen and Rodeo Princess will model and take questions at Market Days.
Rodeo arena gates open at 5 p.m., with pre-performance entertainment provided by Pink Ribbon Rebels and Rodeo City Riders.
The first rodeo performance starts at 7 p.m. Spectators are encouraged to wear purple in support of the “Man-Up Crusade” to bring awareness to domestic violence.
Anthony Lucia, announcer, cowboy and trick roper from Weatherford, Texas, will entertain and educate the crowds during each performance. Spectators can expect to see saddle bronc, bareback riding, tie-down roping, bull riding, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing and saddle bronc riding with professional rodeo entertainers from Three Hills Ranch in Bernard, Iowa.
Saturday activities start with a pancake breakfast from 8 to 11:30 a.m. at the Iron River Senior Center.
The Wild West Parade steps off at 10 a.m. from the corner of Franklin and Fourth streets.
At 11 a.m., Classic Farm Machinery of Iron County will have an antique tractor show and brat feed at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3134, 94 E. Genesee St. in Iron River.
Rodeo arena gates open at noon, with pre-performance entertainment provided by Pink Ribbon Rebels and Rodeo City Riders. Competition starts at 2 p.m.
Gates re-open at 5 p.m., again with pre-performance entertainment provided by Pink Ribbon Rebels and Rodeo City Riders. The new Miss U.P. Rodeo and Miss U.P. Rodeo Princess will be crowned at 6:30 p.m. in the rodeo arena.
The final rodeo performance starts at 7 p.m. Spectators are encouraged to wear pink to support the “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” campaign to promote breast cancer awareness.