The growing pains associated with the first Bigfork Summer Pro Rodeo last year were pretty painless.
The two-day event ran very smoothly before a packed audience both nights.
As a result, the Bigfork Pro Rodeo Committee has added 1,000 more seats (bleachers) for this year’s event along with an extra day of Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association action.
The venue is located at the intersection of Montana 82 and 35.
“It’s a raw, in your face rodeo,” Rob Brisendine of the Bigfork Pro Rodeo Committee said.
“People love it. People get dirt kicked in their face because they are right next to the action. It’s exciting for people to be that close. That kind of energy and atmosphere lends to the experience.”
This year’s rodeo runs July 5th, 6th and 7th.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children (ages 12-and-under).
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. the first two days with rodeo action beginning at 7.
On the final day, gates open at 3:30 p.m. with rodeo action at 5.
The first evening of the rodeo is dedicated to supporting the veterans, so active and retired vets will receive free admission.
The second evening is show your colors night — wearing red, white and blue is encouraged.
It’s kids day for the final performance with those 12-and-under admitted free. There will also be special activities for the youngsters.
“The event sold out the week of the rodeo last year,” Brisendine said.
“(Ticket sales for the first two nights this year) are looking similar to last year, trending the same way. We’re lucky we added those 1,000 seats.”
Temporary seating last year had a capacity of 1,500.
Tickets have been on sale online since Jan. 1.
“It’s a ticketless event,” Brisendine said.
“Everything is online.”
Tickets can be purchased at the rodeo gate each day.
“We have high expectations this year,” Brisendine said.
“We were so well received last year. We are finding ways to step it up with additional seating, music and vendors. When they (fans) are here, they will enjoy themselves.”
Music will follow each performance.
Country artist Miller Campbell from Nashville, Tennessee, will be up the first night. Comatose Posse, a local rock and roll band, will perform after the second performance. Another local band, Haulin Oats, will close on the final night.
All the rodeo action will be replayed on a large video screen so fans can get another look at championship rides and dusty buck-offs.
Whistle-Nut (Jason Dent) & Ole (bull) is the rodeo act.
“One of the top clowns in the nation,” Brisendine said of Dent. “Funny guy … creates a great atmosphere for the crowd.”
And Ole …
“Biggest bull doing different acts,” Brisendine said.
Ole tips the scales at 2,000 pounds.
The rodeo will have an assortment of giveaways — T-shirts and goody bags — that Dent will treat and tease the fans with during each performance.
“We have one of the best specialty acts in the nation,” Brisendine.
“The best announcer (Ray Camp) in the country here. It’s exciting Bigfork puts on a rodeo of this caliber. The cowboys and cowgirls love it for the small town feel. That’s how rodeos started.”