3-days of rodeo shows to kick off 4th of July weekend

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On Independence Day, the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series will combine the iconic motif of cowboys with traditions like barbecues and fireworks to create an experience that is purely American.

“The thing that I love about the Fourth of July rodeo is it’s a link back to Steamboat’s Western heritage,” said Laura Sankey, rodeo board member.

This year’s link to Steamboat’s past begins on the Fourth of July with a performance by the band Quartermoon and a barbecue beginning at 5 p.m. The rodeo begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and features a Ranch Rodeo Exhibition. This event will have teams of ranchers from Steamboat Springs, Meeker and Serratoga, Wyo., competing in authentic ranch work such as wild cow milking, penning and tie-down roping.

“The rodeo board tries to make it an all-out performance every year,” Sankey said.

However, Sankey also is confident the variety each night will make the Friday and Saturday shows also worth the $20 price of admission. Those days will feature the bands Instant Cash and Ragweed, along with barbecue. The music will begin at 6 p.m. each night, with the rodeo beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The shows should offer something different, especially with internationally award-winning rodeo clown, Ash “Crash” Cooper, performing all three nights.

Along with being a rodeo clown, Cooper is an accomplished artist and host for Cowboy Country television. The clown of all trades is widely known for his athleticism and ability to respond to the crowd.

“No one knows what I am going to do because I don’t know what I want to do,” Cooper said, “I respond to what’s going on in the crowd, or in the show, or with the animals. It’s just spontaneous.”

After the Fourth of July show, the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series invites all attendees to stay and enjoy a luminous exclamation point on one of Steamboat’s proudly American experiences.

“It’ll be a packed house,” Sankey said. “There’s not a better spot in town to watch the fireworks from.”

Jake Miller, a 2012 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, is working as a summer intern for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. He recently completed his freshman year at Nebraska Wesleyan University.

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