ST. GEORGE – The new chutes have been installed and the dirt has been poured. The concessions have been stocked, the livestock delivered and the 82nd annual St. George Lions Dixie Roundup Rodeo has begun.
Rodeo action kicked off Thursday night in the historic Dixie Sunbowl. Hundreds of excited rodeo fans packed the unique venue which hosts some of the best cowboys in the nation.
Many of the competitors at the Dixie Roundup are vying for their chance to earn a spot in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo held annually in Las Vegas, rodeo announcer Reed Flake, said.
The Dixie Roundup is put on by the St. George Lions Club which is part of Lions Clubs International, a global service organization. The Roundup acts as the primary fundraiser for the St. George Lions. The Lions donate thousands of dollars to the community each year, Lions Club board member Marty Lane said.
“We have raised tens of thousands of dollars,” he said.
As a board member, Lane said he sees firsthand where the money goes and how the rodeo helps to fund the club’s charitable efforts.
“All the money that we get from all the sales from hamburgers and hot dogs and of course tickets goes back into the community, I mean, for numerous reasons,” Lane said. “It’s endless.”
The night showcased both the glitz and grit of the storied rodeo which is chock-full of pageantry, patriotism and tradition.
Attendees needed only to look around to see that they were surrounded by displays of the American flag including a giant flag suspended from a crane which was a centerpiece for the rodeo.
A skydiver carrying the American flag and a patriotic program featuring military personnel and first responders completed the Roundup’s opening night homage to the United States of America.
Seven competitions – bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding – showcased the skill and determination of the cowboys and cowgirls who live the rodeo life.
A highlight of the rodeo was the barrel racing competition which featured competitors ages 15 and under with the youngest being 5 years old. The young competitors were easily dwarfed by their impressive horses but they displayed all the skill and poise of more mature riders.
Many of the young girls navigated the three barrels with times clocking in at 20 seconds or less.
Rodeo attendees were entertained by professional barrelmen and rodeo clowns Randee Munns and Slim Garner, whose zany antics kept the crowd excited throughout.
Perennial favorites such as the mutton bustin’ competition – a competition in which young children attempt to ride sheep in the rodeo arena – and the Lions Club’s “famous” hot dogs rounded out the first night of the Dixie Roundup.
There are two more nights to enjoy the 82nd annual Dixie Roundup Rodeo. Competition will return to the Dixie Sunbowl Friday and Saturday nights with the not-to-be missed Dixie Roundup Rodeo Parade Saturday morning.
Friday night is “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” night, a night dedicated to raising money for breast cancer research. One dollar from every ticket sold is donated to Intermountain Healthcare Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George to help in the facility’s breast cancer awareness efforts. Attendees are encouraged to wear pink.
Saturday morning the Dixie Roundup Rodeo Parade follows Tabernacle Street from 400 West to 200 East beginning at 9 a.m.
Saturday is being called “Patriotic Night,” Lane said and hinted that there might be a surprise for rodeo fans who attend on Saturday.
Tickets are $15 for reserved rodeo seating, $10 for adult general admission and $5 for children 3-11. Children 2 and under who sit on laps are free.
Reserved and general admission tickets can be purchased at the Lions VFW building across from the Sunbowl, 301 E. 100 South, St. George from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
General admission tickets can be purchased at the entrance to the rodeo each night. Gates open and ticket sales begin at 6 p.m. Tickets can also be ordered with a credit card by calling 435-673-3301
“It’s not only a great rodeo but it’s history in the making right here in St. George, Utah,” Flake said.
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- What: 82nd St. George Lions Dixie Roundup Rodeo and Parade.
- When: Rodeo continues Friday and Saturday nights; gates open at 6 p.m. | Parade is Saturday at 9 a.m.
- Where: Rodeo is held in the historic Dixie Sunbowl, 150 S. 400 East, St. George | Parade runs on Tabernacle Street between 400 West and 200 East, St. George
- Cost: Reserved seats, $15; adult general admission, $10; children (3-11), $5; children (2 and under on laps), free | Parade is free to spectators
- Purchase tickets: Reserved and general admission tickets can be purchased at the Lions VFW building across from the Sunbowl, 301 E. 100 South, St. George from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. General admission tickets can be purchased the night of the rodeo. Gates open and ticket sales begin at 6 p.m. Tickets can also be ordered with a credit card by calling 435-673-3301
- Rodeo information: 435-703-4779 | Website
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