The month of July, the heartiest part of the summer sandwich, belongs to Fortuna. The Friendly City just celebrated a spectacular Fourth of July (on the third) and now heads into its biggest annual event, a week-long convergence of cowboy culture and competition, the Fortuna Rodeo, which gets bucking July 14-21. Rolling in right on the kicked-up heels of the rodeo is the Fortuna Redwood AutoXpo. But, for this week, all eyes are on the buckle. Saddle up, it's rodeo time.
It's not Fortuna's first rodeo, either. It's the town's 98th. Boy howdy. The fun kicks off with the Fortuna Rodeo Run/Walk, Sunday, July 14 at 9 a.m. at Redwood Café parking lot and heats up Monday, July 15 at the Chili Cook-off at 5 p.m. on Main Street (free admission) with tastings and live music. Tuesday, July 16 is all about the youngsters with Children's Games at Redwood Village Shopping Center from 6 to 8:30 p.m. (free) and the carnival opening in Rohner Park at 5 p.m. — and staying open from noon to 11 p.m./midnight through Sunday, July 21 ($35 all-day wristband).
The next go round of fun includes the Junior Rodeo on Wednesday, July 17 at 10 a.m. at the Rodeo Grounds (free) and Street Games on Main Street from 6 to 8:30 p.m. (free). Junior Rodeo action continues on Thursday, July 18 at 9 a.m. (free), with Barrel Racing after the rodeo and Fireman's Games at 6:30 p.m. on Main Street.
Friday, July 19 is Bullfighters Only Night at 5 p.m. with bands, Quadiators and the Bullfighters Only Show at the Rodeo Grounds ($35-$10).
Carb up for the parade and more rodeo action at the Fortuna Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, July 20 at 7 a.m. at Rohner Park Cook Shack. The parade on Main Street starts at noon followed by rodeo at 2 p.m. at the Rodeo Grounds, and Bull, Broncs, Bands & Brews with music at 7 p.m. and bull and bronc riding at 8 p.m.
Don't miss the famous deep-pit Barbecue on Sunday, July 21 at 11 a.m. (sharp) at Rohner Park. Followed by more rodeo at 1:30 p.m. at the Rodeo Grounds. Tickets for most events are available at www.fortunarodeo.com. Cash only at the gates. Fortuna Rodeo is a pet-free event.