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Does anyone know of any local rodeos put on during the spring or summer in the Bay area? I know there is one in Auburn but 4 hours in the car with my horse- obsessed children for a rodeo seems a bit much. Are there any rodeos held closer to Berkeley? Thank you in advance. tabitha
You've probably covered this already, but make sure the kids are prepared for the fact that animals sometimes appear to be treated roughly (roped and thrown down, etc.) at the rodeo. I grew up in a farming community and remember being a little scared of it as a kid. If they're at all sensitive, you might look for other ways to get close to horses, ranging from a trip to the race track to an afternoon at one of the local stables, depending on their age. JP
If you can wait until October, you might also like the Grand National which is held at the Cow Palace every year. It is good because you can see a wider variety of events in two hours. It starts at 8, a little late for some kids. But it is a very good show.
Or go see the horses at the end of skyline...
Rowell Ranch Arena Saturday, July 9th, 2:30pm Sunday, July 10th, 2:30pmI think there are several other rodeo events at Rowell Ranch in the summer. Also, when I was a kid (early 70's) Golden Gate Fields had a free program for kids every saturday morning (early) during racing season. Great entertainment for horse-crazy kids if they still do something similar... Jenny
http://www.livermorerodeo.org/ http://www.livermorerodeo.org/history.html http://www.elivermore.com/rodeoparade.htmformer livermoron
As for rodeos, we took our 9 year old to his first rodeo last May, and he LOVED it. This particular one is pretty small and low-key, as rodeos go - we're not talking Grand National here, but it has all of the standard rodeo events - bronco riding, team roping, barrel racing, rodeo clowns, etc. It's called the Rowell Ranch Rodeo, and is located on the top of the 580 Freeway, between Castro Valley and the Dublin/Pleasanton area. We went to the Livermore Rodeo later in the summer, and didn't like it nearly as much - that one was much bigger, more commercial, etc. What I/we liked about it: small town feel, not glitzy; real local working ranchers and their families participating. There's not much marketing of souvenirs and things to buy, other than cowboy hats and rodeo pennants. The bleacher seats are pretty close to the action - you don't need binoculars. There's a small petting area where the kids can see and pet/hold some farm animals. Corny announcers (see below), rodeo clowns and their antics. One of the best parts was that before the rodeo begins, they invite all of the kids (and parents!) down into the rodeo arena (big fenced DIRT area - wear those cowboy boots!) to talk with the cowboys, cowgirls, clowns, look at the ropes and equipment, and ask questions. You learn a lot! It's also a very interesting concept for most of us urban dwellers and our kids: people within a 20-25 mile radius of Berkeley still make their livings on the ranch. Drawbacks: May is allergy season, and it can get dusty out there. Be prepared with the antihistamines and kleenex, if you're bothered by allergies. Wear a hat - it gets hot out in the sun on the unshaded bleachers. Check the prices before you go. It was a bit more than we had expected, for a local rodeo, but worth it if that's what you want to see! Expect corny jokes and non-PC announcers (yes, they *still* refer to women riding horses in a rodeo as "little gals"). Expect some beer drinking (Budweiser & Coors only, of course!), and Jack Daniels sponsoring some events. Finally, rodeos events being rodeo events, there is always the possibility that either the humans, the animals, or both could be injured in front of your child's eyes. Usually it's not serious, but it's best to prepare them and yourselves for that. All said, if you and your children want to take in a rodeo, this is a nice fun one to check out locally. May 20th/21st this year. Information at: http://www.rowellranchrodeo.org/
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