WINTHROP The Methow Valley Rodeo wraps its 42nd year this Labor Day weekend with family-friendly favorites.
The rodeo, which is hosted by the Methow Valley Horsemen, starts at 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is charged, though children under 6 years old can get in free.
Mutton bustin’ makes its return for children ages 5 and under, as long as they weigh less than 60 pounds. Participants are required to register at the office on the rodeo grounds, located on Twin Lakes Road, and present their ticket at the bucking chute.
Children also have a chance to win a real cowboy belt buckle or a ribbon in the stick horse race, open to age groups 3 and under and 4-6. Participants can bring their own stick horse, but the rodeo provides them as well.
However, it isn’t all fun and games just for the children – the Methow Valley Rodeo boasts events for cowboys including bullriding, saddle bronc, barrel racing and ranch saddle bronc. The latter is “a little bit different event,” rodeo secretary Leanna Melton said.
“They ride with a little bit different saddle, they can hold on,” she said. “It’s more like what the cowboys would really ride if you were breaking a horse.”
Melton said bullriding is probably the biggest draw for the rodeo.
“It seems like people come because it’s kind of a family thing,” she said. “They can sit on the grass and watch, their little kids get to participate in some of the events. It’s different from the Omak Stampede. It’s more of a local rodeo, but still has good contestants.”
This year’s Queen Lily White will reign over the festivities.
In addition to representing the Methow Valley Rodeo at other rodeos across the state, she also rides in the grand entry for the local event and greets the audience.
“She’s doing a really good job,” Melton said.
“So excited!” White wrote on her official Facebook page. “I hope to see you guys all there, it should be a blast!”
The Methow Valley Rodeo has been a jackpot rodeo since 2010, meaning winners get their event entry money back, as well as winnings funded from ticket sales and donations by local businesses.
The deadline to sign up for the jackpot rodeo ended Tuesday.
Another of the adult events is the “famous” stick horse race for women ages 40 and up.
“The prize for this event is the undying admiration of all your friends for being a good sport,” according to the rodeo website.
Melton said food vendors will be on hand, along with a few others selling such items as Western clothing.
The rodeo kicked off on Memorial Day weekend and was “great,” Melton said.
“We had lots and lots of contestants. I’m getting a few people signed up already,” she said.