Bulls. Blood. Dust. Mud. Garth was on to something. And because we interpret Mr. Brooks' words as gospel truth, we predict that the Sunday crowds will be roaring as Humboldt's more cowboy-ish tendencies are indulged over the next couple weeks.
Why? 'Cuz it's rodeo season, y'all! This weekend: Orick Rodeo serves up the ropes and the reins Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15. Next week: Fortuna Rodeo Week supplies the joy and the pain starting Monday, July 16, and running through Sunday, July 22. In both cases the actual rodeo is sandwiched between oodles of other family-attracting events straight outta that America we all think we remember -- barbecues, kids’ games, foot tappin’ tunes. Yee-freakin'-haw. But if you want to make sure you catch the rodeo rodeo, here’s your cheat sheet:
Saturday, July 14 at 5 p.m.
Sunday, July 15 at 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 21 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, July 22 at 1:30 p.m.
If you're unsavvy to the rodeo landscape -- we're gonna estimate that's about, oh, 99.5 percent of Journal readers -- let's try to put in perspective what level of action you have the opportunity to gawk at. Both the Orick and Fortuna rodeos are sanctioned by the California Cowboys Pro Rodeo Association. Think of the CCPRA as the minor leagues of the rodeo universe. From late March through September, hopeful cowboys leave their day jobs behind and drive long hours to compete for modest purses in CCPRA events as far south as Needles, Calif., and as far north as Lakeview, Ore. Over the years, many ambitious cowboys have gotten their start in the CCPRA before movin' on up to the PRCA big money events -- Ferndale small-town-boy-made-good Billy Bugenig, for example.
But smaller stakes doesn’t mean smaller bulls, and bones break regardless of how much moolah is on the line. All the ball-bustin’ events you’d need at a rodeo, you’ll get -- bronc riding (saddled and sans), bull riding, steer rasslin’, calf roping. You must be entertained.
Both the Orick and Fortuna events also supply their own unique bonus flavors. First, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, the Orick Rodeo Grounds will play host to its annual Mutton Busting competition, which features young, helmeted children released into the arena on the backs of scared sheep. Adorable. The next week, the Fortuna Rodeo will attempt to top that spectacle with the return of Quadiators in the Fortuna Rodeo Grounds starting at 6 p.m. Friday, July 20. The event features quad-riding two-person teams -- one driver, one attacker -- driving in circles and swinging wiffle ball bats attempting to pop the helmet-affixed balloons of their competitors. Yes.
If you’d like more info on the Fortuna Rodeo -- and there's a lot -- well, did you notice how your North Coast Journal is extra heavy this week? That’s because we’ve crammed this year’s jam packed Fortuna Rodeo Guide inside. So, give that a looksee. For more on the Orick Rodeo, uh, you’ll just have to become their friend on Facebook.