The festivities start Wednesday with a chuckwagon barbecue kickoff, at 6 p.m. at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds. Rodeo shows start Thursday at 7 p.m. at the fairgrounds with a family night. Military Appreciation Night will follow on Friday at the fairgrounds, and Saturday’s show is the “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” breast cancer awareness show.
Other events include a carnival, a kids rodeo day at the Cortez Public Library and the Rob Yates Memorial Golf Tournament.
The layout at the fairgrounds outdoor arena has been changed for this year’s show, Colbert said. “The whole appearance is going to look really good,” he said. A few things will be different to start of the show each night, Colbert said. Thursday’s show will start by featuring the animals that are used for the rodeo, and fireworks will kick off the show each night.
The rodeo will have more total contestants this year, Colbert said. Some of the cowboys to look out for during the weekend include Ty Wallace, one of the top-ranked bull riders in the world, Rich Skelton, a world-class team roper and Taos Muncie, a world-champion saddle bronc rider, Colbert said.
Announcer Jody Carper and rodeo clown John Harrison will be back for the second year in a row to provide entertainment for the rodeo crowds, Colbert said. The sound and video crews work well with Carper and Harrison to put on a good show, Colbert said.
“It’s always a good show with John, he’s very entertaining,” Colbert said. “We’ve got a pretty good group out there. We like our show.”
It will be Harrison’s last year at the rodeo, Colbert said. Rodeo organizers rotate the entertainment acts every two years, he said.
The rodeo saw record attendance numbers during last year’s weekend, and Colbert said he’s hoping to continue that. Friday and Saturday are usually almost full, but Thursday could use a few more people, he said.
“Hopefully this year we’ll sell out another night,” Colbert said.
The Rob Yates Memorial Golf Tournament is in honor of Rob Yates, a former rodeo chairman who died in a snowmobiling accident in 2013. The tournament will take place at Conquistador Golf Course at 7 a.m. on Friday, June 9. The entry fee is $35. Call Marti Spitzer at 739-0447 or Micah Rudowsky at 565-9208 for more information.
Rodeo Board Member Ranette Karo said she’s also looking forward to the lineup of big-name competitors.
“I’m looking forward to all of it,” she said. “We have a really good lineup of contestants and entertainment.”