IRON RIVER—It’s time for the 46th annual U.P. Championship Rodeo and a weekend of events during Rodeo Daze on July 19-21.
“The festivities will include the popular Downtown Market Daze, Miss U.P. Rodeo, the Windsor Rodeo Run, Rodeo Vittles, Art Round-Up, a foot-stompin’ street dance downtown, the ever-popular Wild West Parade and more,” said a rodeo spokesperson.
On Friday, July 19 the weekend of lively events kicks off when Market Daze fills Genesee Street with vendors of all kinds peddling handcrafts, antiques and sidewalk sale wares from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The West Iron District Library will be hosting its used book sale and western photo shoot.
The U.P. Championship Rodeo committee will be having a booth, selling T-shirts, Tough Enough to Wear Pink shirts and tickets for the rodeo performances and the U.P. Rodeo Concert.
At 11 a.m., the Miss U.P. Rodeo extemporaneous questions event will be held in the heart of downtown at Market Daze. Later, at 2 p.m. contestants will at the Iron County Fairgrounds’ Rotunda building for their pageant speeches and modeling event.
The annual Art Round-Up gets under way at the Windsor Center on U.S. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Rodeo Vittles luncheon at First Presbyterian Church, located adjacent to the Windsor Center, will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
As nighttime draws near, the Iron County Fairgrounds arena gates will open for the fourth annual U.P. Rodeo Concert. From the grandstands, fans will be able to listen to “Dust on the Bottle” being sung by American country music artist David Lee Murphy.
Opening performances will be by two top-notch local bands, Pyramid and Next Myle.
Tickets for the concert are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate.
As the sun rises on Saturday’s rodeo activities, the Miss U.P. Rodeo horsemanship competition begins at 8 a.m.
That is the same time that the Windsor Rodeo Run begins, from behind the Windsor Center. It includes 10K and 5K races along with a two-mile fun walk/run.
At 10 a.m., it’s time to gather along the parade route as the Wild West Parade regales onlookers with teams of horses, bands and western themed floats. Parade registration begins at 8 a.m. with the helpful hands of Global Response North.
“No preregistration is required to enter the parade,” said the spokesperson. “Just show up at the registration table, which will be located at the corner of Fourth and Franklin avenues. Horses are needed as well as our ‘valuable’ pooper scoopers.” Prizes will be given out in several categories.
The parade route is the same in the past: Fourth Avenue to U.S. 2, east on U.S. 2 to River Avenue, south on River to Genesee Street and west on Genesee Street to Seventh Avenue, where parade participants head back toward the fairgrounds.
The Art Round-Up continues on Saturday at the Windsor Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Following the parade will be brats on the outdoor grill at Angeli Central Market as well as at VFW Post 3134 on Genesee Street.
The main event, the U.P. Championship Rodeo, begins with the opening of the gates at noon at the grandstand.
First in the arena will be the returning drill team, the Menomonie Saddle Club, sponsored this year by Edward Jones/Patti Dzanbazoff.
Bringing rodeo excitement will be Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) stock contractor Three Hills Rodeo Inc. They will kick off the show with bareback riding at 2 p.m. followed by team roping, steer wrestling, tie-down calf roping, saddle bronc riding and barrel racing. There will be mutton-bustin’ for the youngsters, and some clownin’ around. The pro-rodeo performance ends with bull riding.
Three Hills will be bringing a new specialty act, the One Armed Bandit, sure to entertain the crowd.
Rodeo announcer Anthony Lucia will return to emcee rodeo events.
The second rodeo performance is set for 7 p.m. Gates to the rodeo arena open at 5 p.m. Saturday’s evening rodeo performance is dedicated to breast cancer awareness, and everyone is invited to show that they’re “Tough Enough to Wear Pink.”
Ready for a little more foot-stompin’? Head downtown to the city block by the VFW hall for the Rodeo Street Dance. Live music and refreshments will keep the action going under the night sky.
On Sunday, July 21, the Rodeo arena gates open at noon followed at 1 p.m. with pre-rodeo entertainment by the Menomonie Saddle Club.
At 1:30, it’s time for the crowning of Miss U.P. Rodeo 2013, who will represent the U.P. Championship Rodeo at many events both here in Iron County, the U.P. and in the Midwest.
The third and final rodeo performance starts at 2 p.m.
Tickets for rodeo performances are $15 for adult and $5 for youths.
“Get out your cowboy hat,” said the spokesperson, “and plan on a full schedule during the Rodeo Daze Weekend in Iron River July 19-21.”