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Rodeo returns to Polson

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POLSON — The 81st Mission Mountain Rodeo is scheduled for this weekend, June 24 and 25, at the Polson Fairgrounds. 

With general seating and admissions of $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages five to 12, and no charge for kids under five, the rodeo will kick off this summer with a variety of mens, ladies, juniors, and youth events. Youth events begin at 6 p.m. with the main rodeo starting at 7 p.m.

Sanctioned by the Northern Rodeo Association, attendees of the main rodeo will get to see all the classics from bareback riding to steer wrestling. Ladies and juniors events include break-away roping and barrel racing, while the youngest competitors will be busy with mutton busting, mini bull riding, and pony buckers. 

Just as they have for the past few years, Montana based stock contractor, Big Circle Rodeo, will provide the rodeo animals. “They’ve always provided some great rough stock and livestock for the rodeo for us, so we’re always happy to have them back,” Polson Fairgrounds secretary Una Rose Graham stated. The contractor for youth stock is 406 Rodeo, also based out of Montana.

As a special treat this year, two young teenagers, Audrey Snellman and Oli Leininger, will perform their trick riding act on both nights. 

“You don’t get to see a whole lot of (trick riding) anymore,” Graham commented. “We’re excited to see them. It should be really fun to watch.” 

There will be plenty to do outside the main event. Slack events take place on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. These events are for “overflow” contestants over the age of 12, who do calf roping, team roping, barrel racing and steer wrestling. It’s everything that wouldn’t quite fit in the highlighted nightly rodeo.

 In addition, a craft and non-food vendor fair, where anyone can set up a booth to sell their wares free of charge, will be available both days of the rodeo. For those interested in setting up a booth, call Sharon for details at 406-261-2861. 

A beer garden and food concessions will also be available, including everything from hot dogs, burgers and famous hand-cut fries made on-site. “We have really good rodeo food,” Graham laughed. 

Finally, on Friday night after the rodeo, there’ll be a live music performance by Northern Lights out of Missoula to celebrate the traditional start to summer. 

“It’s quite a social event,” Graham said. “We look forward to everyone coming out to the rodeo and enjoying a night out.”

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