GAINES — The 17th annual Gaines Community Rodeo returns with a new event and a new attraction July 19 and 20.
Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus St. Joseph Council, Reed City-based Flying Star Rodeo will bring professional rodeo action to the Gaines Area Lions Club Pine Hill Park beginning at 6:30 p.m. both nights.
“This is a great family event,” said Brian Wendt, event coordinator. “We’ve kept it family-friendly and we try to keep our prices competitively low so you don’t break the bank by bringing the family out and enjoying our event.
“To have something like this, a smalltown event that draws almost 6,000 people to a town of 385 in a weekend, is quite amazing.”
New this year, women’s breakaway roping will be added to the lineup of events that include bull riding, barrel racing, bareback riding, team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling and saddle bronc riding.
In addition, the entertainment tent will have a mechanical bull this year.
“So, that will be interesting,” said Wendt.
The Todd Michael Band will perform in the entertainment tent Friday night, and Ross Mead and North Country returns to the stage Saturday night. The entertainment tent opens at 8 p.m. both nights.
“You don’t have to go to the rodeo to go to the entertainment tent,” said Wendt.
As always, there will be concessions, a petting zoo, pony rides and clowns doing face painting.
“We have quite a few vendors coming this year, more than in past years,” Wendt said. “We have a lot of local vendors who do a lot of arts and crafts type custom things.”
Vendors will sell horse tack and western items such as belts and belt buckles, custom Gaines Rodeo shirts, vinyl and pallet art, handmade jewelry, clothing, wood carvings and more.
Gates open at 4 p.m. both days. Adult tickets cost $12; tickets for children age 5-12 cost $5. Children younger than 5 years old get in free.
There also will be a Cowboy Breakfast on Saturday morning. Adult tickets cost $7; children age 5-10 eat for $4. The menu includes scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, applesauce, pancakes and beverages.
All proceeds from the event are returned to the community.
“The proceeds go to charitable organizations and people in need,” said Wendt. “That’s one of the big things the Knights of Columbus are all about.”
The park is located at 12135 Ray Road. Limited bleacher seating is available, but spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for hillside seating.
Rodeo-goers also may bring food and beverages, however coolers and alcohol are prohibited. Pets also are not allowed on rodeo grounds.