Fortuna kids know summer is in full swing as soon as the semi trucks roll into Rohner Park, their trailers loaded full of neon-lit carnival cars. The horse trailers are never far behind. The Fortuna Rodeo is a week of bronco busting, barrel racing and barbecues, with a carnival right next door, and the hootenanny runs through July 18.
The Fireman's Games (free) are a red clown nose away from pure spectacle. On Thursday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m. on Main Street, firefighters compete in feats of strength, skill and fire hoses. Friday, July 18 is the first evening of adult events, with Motorsports Night ($6) starting at 6 p.m. at the Fortuna Rodeo Grounds. It starts with the Quad Barrel Race, followed by the always entertaining Calf Dressing Competition. Motocross jumper Julian D'Usseau finishes the evening with freestyle stunts.
Saturday, July 19 gets an early start with a 7 a.m. pancake breakfast at the Rohner Park Cook Shack ($6, $4). The Main Street parade (free) starts at noon and Julian D'Usseau performs at the Rodeo Grounds again at 2 p.m. The rodeo goes from trot to canter at 6:30 p.m., with live music and traditional rodeo games at the Bulls, Bands and Brews ($6). The week closes out on Sunday, July 20 with the Fortuna Rodeo Run/Walk at 9 a.m. on Main Street. The barbecue starts at 11 a.m. and the last day of rodeo events ($7) starts at 1:30 p.m. The carnival opens every day of rodeo week at noon. So, git along little dogies, pony-up a little cash and enjoy the shindig.