Before our recent trip to Steamboat, our seven-year-old daughter wanted to be a ballerina in Paris. Now she wants to be a cowgirl. She hasn’t taken off her hat since our night at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series. Living on the Front Range it’s easy to forget we live in the West—a place where values and heritage carry more rank than organic root vegetables and wood fired pizza. The rodeo announcer repeatedly appealed to parents to teach their children to be honest and respectful. It’s not a line you hear from the gaming crowd.
Although there’s plenty of top-notch bronc riding, barrel racing, and calf roping, it’s not just a spectator event. Little ones can participate in the Pee Wee Ram Scramble—where a good-natured ram dubbed Rambo outwits 100 toddlers. Older kids (ages 6–12) attempt to pull a ribbon from a nimble calf. Our nine-year-old son said he would never forget the chase.
The rodeo runs Friday and Saturday nights through August 20, 2011. (Arrive early for the BBQ.) Buy tickets at F.M. Light & Sons to save a few dollars off the cost of admission. While there, check out the back of the store for five dollar cowboy hats for the kids. You may even trade the Prius for a pickup and your Crocs for some quill ostrich boots. Hyah!
Visit steamboatprorodeo.com for more information. See blow for more rodeo photos. —Sarah Peruzzi