Don’t miss the Big Bend Roundup Rodeo Aug. 25 and 26

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

The Big Bend Roundup Rodeo is an integral part of the NCW Fair. The event is held each year on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It will begin this year at 4 p.m. Aug. 25 and at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 26.

The price of fair tickets includes admission to the event, though tickets for covered grandstand seating are an extra $5.

The rodeo includes a variety of events, including bucking bulls, bareback and saddle broncs, barrel racing, steer wrestling and tie-down roping. There are mutton bustin’ events for children 40 pounds and under.

There are six gate races held each day of the roundup, including one senior relay and one junior relay. Cowgirl and cowboy races give everyone who wants to ride the chance to race a quarter-mile for fun.

Some of the biggest races of the weekend are the mile derby and the Indian Relay Race. The Indian relay features a minimum purse of $6,000, so it is a big deal for the teams that participate. Teams consist of three horses and four people, with one person serving as the jockey and three serving as holders and catchers. This will be the last event on both days. There will also be a Junior Indian Relay Race for riders 18 and under.

The wild horse races are another event that the crowd loves. The wild horse races are the second race event of each day, and if there are enough contestants additional wild horse race events may be scheduled later in the afternoon.

Fair board member Melodie Gutzwiler serves as rodeo director. She is helped by fair board member Leslie Garneau and a 14-member rodeo committee.

Fair board members Dave Mires and Becky Matthiesen are longtime race directors. Mires and his wife Marvel work to get sponsors and Matthiesen runs the race office. Many volunteers help them in their work.