Mandan News

Tradition brings fans to Mandan Rodeo Days year after year

Cowboys watch the fireworks after the Mandan Rodeo. This year's rodeo will take place July 2 to 4 at Dacotah Centennial Park. Mandan News file photo

Cowboys watch the fireworks after the Mandan Rodeo. This year’s rodeo will take place July 2 to 4 at Dacotah Centennial Park. Mandan News file photo

Tradition is the major draw for Mandan Rodeo Days. Fans seem to enjoy all aspects of the professional sporting competition and showcase of western culture from the bullriding and saddle broncs to the chuckwagon racing and patriotism, but most importantly they see the Fourth of July event as an institution in North Dakota, a custom that brings families and friends together in a celebration of America’s independence.

Mandan was a finalist last year in a “Most Patriotic Small Town in America” contest put on by Rand McNally and USA Today. The Fourth of July festival – complete with the pro rodeo, fireworks, Art in the Park, and Independence Day Parade – was a frequently cited reason for the nomination.

Mandan Rodeo Days continues for the 134th year in 2013. Rip-roaring entertainment since 1879 has fans hollering “Yeeeee Hawwww!” The celebration revolves around Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association-sanctioned competitions on July 2, 3 and 4 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Dacotah Centennial Park.

The rodeo will feature award-winning bucking stock from Frontier Rodeo Company, which has had 18 head of bareback horses, saddle broncs and bulls selected to buck at the last two Wrangler National Finals Rodeos, held annually in December in Las Vegas. Frontier in 2012 received the PRCA’s Remuda Award for having a herd of bucking horses of exceptional quality. In 2011, the stock contractor based out of Winnie, Texas, and Freedom, Okla., also earned honors for having the PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year (Full Baggage) and PRCA Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year (Medicine Woman). Frontier Rodeo’s Delta Ship was twice in recent years named the WNFR Bareback Horse of the Year.

Another special feature of the 2013 Mandan Rodeo is trickrider, clown and barrelman John Harrison of Soper, Okla. Harrison takes funny to a whole new level. He picked up the coveted award of PRCA Comedy Act of the Year in 2012 and hasn’t stopped smiling since.

Mandan Rodeo mainstays include the chuckwagon racing, Miss Rodeo Mandan queen and princess pageants, and announcing by Tim Fuller of Claremore, Okla., who keeps fans informed of every buck, kick and jump.

Professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls competing at the Mandan Rodeo will again vie for nearly $42,000 in added money, $6,000 per event. Night winners in each event will also receive a $100 bonus. This purse attracts top professional cowboys and cowgirls from the Badlands Circuit of North and South Dakota and across the nation including many Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers.

Rodeo tickets go on sale June 1. Reserved seat tickets are $20 through July 1. Advance, general seat tickets are $16 for adults for July 4 or $14 for other nights. Advance children’s tickets are $8 for any night. Tickets will be sold at the gate before each rodeo performance, $18 for adults on July 4 and $16 for other nights. Children’s tickets are $9 at the rodeo. A discount will be provided for the July 2 Family Night of $2 off each child’s ticket with purchase of an adult ticket. Children under age six are admitted free of charge.

Ticket sales locations include Petro Serve USA, Central Market, Boot Barn and Western Unlimited. Reserved seat tickets are available only at the 1300 E Main, Mandan, location of Petro Serve USA.

Stay tuned for more information, including the schedule of events, Art-in-the-Park and the Independence Day Parade.