|DATE 6/22/2003 7:48 PM|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.
Rodeo, Rendezvous Highlights of Hub City Days
|Mt. Pleasant City’s annual Hub City Days will feature two main attractions that celebrate the history and traditions of Utah and the Old West: a professional rodeo and a mountain man rendezvous.The Clegg Championship Rodeo will be held on the Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5 at 8 p.m. at the city rodeo grounds. Like Hub City Days, which celebrates the history and traditions of Mt. Pleasant, the Clegg Championship Rodeo will celebrate the influence the rodeo had on the Western United States and Utah. It’s the first time in many years that a professional rodeo has been part of Hub City Days.”Rodeo in Mt. Pleasant is quite a tradition,” says Chris Larsen, a member of the city council. “I remember when I was growing up, every year on the Fourth of July we’d go to the parade and then over to the city park and ride steers all day and then watch the professional rodeo at night.”
However, one thing Larsen didn’t realize as a child (or, rather, until he joined the Mt. Pleasant city council) was that the city had been running the rodeos at a financial loss for years. “It got to the point where we just couldn’t do it anymore.”
The city continued to run the children’s rodeo or “Muttin’ Bustin'” competition as part of Hub City Days. Revenue from that annual, volunteer-run event over time helped finance some needed improvements at the rodeo grounds and helped bring professional rodeo back.
The Muttin’ Bustin children’s rodeo will be held this year as well. It will take place at 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday nights. “We really wanted to keep the tradition of the children’s rodeo…we are doing all of this for the kids anyway,” Larsen says.
In addition, local rodeo riders can take part in the Clegg Championship Rodeo. Sign ups will be held June 27. For information, contact Debbie Stallings at (435) 462-3816.
The rodeo will feature riders competing in calf roping, steer wrestling, bare back riding, bull riding, barrel racing and more. The cost for the Clegg Championship Rodeo is $6 for adults and $3 for children under age 12. Larsen says the city hopes to “break even” on the rodeo in hopes of making it an annual event once again.
The word “rodeo” actually comes from the Spanish word “rodear” meaning to roundup, and was the name used in the Spanish Ranchero days when the semi-wild herds of cattle were gathered in the spring for branding and ear marking. Rodeos often took place again in the fall when the cattle were slaughtered, and the semi-annual roundup was the origin of the modern rodeo. It also served as a social gathering and celebration for the various families that lived on enormous ranches. Those rodeos could last a week or more and would often include cook-outs, bronco riding, roping and other competitions.
In addition to the rodeo, the fourth annual Black Hawk Mountain Man Rendezvous will be held during Hub City Days. The event begins July 4 (it will be held in Mt. Pleasant’s City Park) and continues through Sunday, July 6. The rendezvous celebrates the history of mountain men and the traditions of making heritage products, which continue to be an attraction in the region today.
As in past years, this year’s event is being organized by David and Pat Gonzalez, who are longtime enthusiasts of Mountain Men rendezvous, with help from the Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council. The Gonzalez’ have been attending Mountain Men rendezvous with their children for more than a decade. Once again, one of the main attractions will be a “Traders Row” that will include historic items like those made and sold at Mountain Men Rendezvous before 1840. Those items will include handmade leather goods, clothing, tin ware, bead work, bags, belts, pipe bags, wooden boxes and other historic items.
In addition to Traders Row, the rendezvous will also include muzzle-loader shootouts, exhibits, trading, displays, candy cannon explosions, tomahawk and knife-throwing contests, frying pan tosses, Dutch-oven cook offs, kids games, Native American dancers, historical re-enactments and shooting contests coordinated by TNT Muzzle Loaders, which supplies the targets and scoring cards.
Participants will camp out in authentic teepees and wall tents during the three-day event, which is expected to attract shooters and traders from throughout Utah and parts of the United States. For more information, contact Gonzalez at (435) 462-0152 or call the Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council, (435) 462-2456.
|For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council