The dust has finally settled from an exciting and record-setting 86th St. Paul Rodeo, which concluded on Monday, July 4.
Sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), this year’s annual rodeo brought droves of rodeo and western heritage fans alike to St. Paul for the five-day event, which ran June 30 through July 4.
Titled as “The Nation’s Greatest 4th of July Rodeo,” greater than 57,000 fans, many clad in boots and western apparel, attended the event, establishing an all-time attendance record while selling out five of the six rodeo performances.
The western hospitality found throughout the week in St. Paul isn’t just about charm. It is a way of life. And it is what draws many folks here, whether it’s back to their roots or to experience it firsthand the first time. That same western hospitality, found in the St. Paul Rodeo Association’s membership and in the local residents, is also found in the hundreds of volunteers it takes to make for a successful rodeo.
Patriot Night, the evening performance on July 4, was special indeed. It is here that St. Paul Rodeo shines in honoring our veterans and military servicemembers. A special grand-entry recognition was conducted as horse-and-rider, six in total, presented each service branch’s banner in honoring servicemembers and veterans, followed by a special patriotic salute presentation of our nation’s colors. Servicemembers were further tributed and recognized with the playing of each service branch’s song.
It was also during Patriot Night that the warm hearts and western hospitality again made itself present. A special ‘boot pass’ was conducted during the performance by The American Legion, this year’s designated recipient of donations. Those generous donations totaled over $3,136 and were dedicated toward the Veterans & Children Foundation (VCF) and Oregon American Legion Foundation (TOALF), both which are nonprofit and holding 501(c)(3) status. The VCF resources are utilized to help fund veteran service officer training and certification, as well as,= providing critical temporary financial assistance to servicemembers with children in the home needing assistance.
TOALF provides key funding resources for Legion youth programs throughout Oregon, which seeks to mentor and develop healthy and motivated leaders for our future, including Boys State; National Oratorical Speech Contest; Jim Willis Law Enforcement Career Camp; Legion Baseball; Scouting; and more.
The Department of Oregon extends its appreciation and gratitude to the devoted leadership of the St. Paul Rodeo Association; there is little doubt as to why their annual rodeo is such a success.