Idaho Falls, ID: The 2016 War Bonnet Roundup is one that will go down in the history books as a year to remember – new management, new events and a kick-off party that will have crowds of all ages beaming with excitement. The events will span a four-day period, beginning on Wednesday, August 3 and ending the evening of Saturday, August 6.
“The War Bonnet Roundup is Idaho’s Oldest Rodeo. Today, more than 450 cowboys and cowgirls compete each summer in front of more than 15,000 rodeo enthusiasts,” explains Greg A. Weitzel, City of Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation Director.
The City of Idaho Falls acquired the rodeo in 2015. “This year marks the first year the city has run this historic rodeo, and we are honored to welcome back the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall. From the beginning, the tribes provided the most colorful component of the rodeo, making the War Bonnet Roundup an important part of eastern Idaho’s culture and tradition. We are very passionate about maintaining and building upon this legacy,” adds Weitzel.
The War Bonnet Roundup Kick-off Party on Wednesday, August 3, will mark the beginning of a series of four-day events. The kick-off is sponsored by the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation and will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. in the heart of downtown at Capital Avenue & “B” Street.
Idaho’s Oldest Rodeo, the 105th annual War Bonnet Roundup will take place August 4th, 5th and 6th at the Bank of Idaho Arena at Sandy Downs. Gates open at 5 p.m. with youth rodeo events including mutton bustin’, calf and lamb scramble and mini-bull riding beginning nightly at 7 p.m.
The rodeo starts at 8 p.m. nightly with the War Bonnet Roundup Royalty flag presentation followed by wild horse racing – a historic rodeo event sanctioned by The Professional Wild Horse Racing Association and sponsored by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. During the event, teams of contestants attempt to catch a wild horse, saddle it and ride across the finish line. Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) sanctioned events follow and include bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. Rodeo clown J.W. Winklepleck and American’s Got Talent Finalist, Loop Rawlins will entertain crowds with antics and lasso tricks, and the rodeo will end each night with a free-style bull fight.
On Friday, August 5th at 10 p.m., “slack” will take place and is open to the public after the rodeo ends. Slack refers to a time during off or “slack” times that allows for numerous competitors to compete in timed events who are not part of the rodeo performance.
Admission to the main event is $20 at the gate or $18 in advance. Admission for children (ages 3-11) is $10, and children two (2) and under are FREE. Discounted tickets can be purchased online at www.warbonnetroundup.org or at Teton Toyota, KJ’S Super Stores, C-A-L Ranch Stores, Sportsman’s Warehouse or Boot Barn prior to the Roundup.
The 4th Annual War Bonnet Roundup Golf Tournament will be held on August 5th at Sand Creek Golf Course with tee off at 8 a.m. Team registration is $400 and includes green fees. Lunch is also included following the tournament. A cowboy or rodeo representative will be at the tee boxes to offer “professional” assistance. Foursomes and tournament sponsors can register at www.warbonnetroundup.org, or call Tyson Bowen, Assistant Golf Professional at (208) 612-8535.
Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper states, “To our generous sponsors, willing volunteers, American Legion, the Rodeo Board and Committee members, and the talented city employees – congratulations on a job well done! Your vision, passion, leadership and commitment to this community and to the War Bonnet’s honorable rodeo heritage are sure to give us yet another successful venture.”
Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.
About Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation: The mission of the City of Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation Department is to provide quality parks and recreation opportunities based upon cost efficiency and community needs. Learn more on our website.