Kick up your heels at the Progress Days rodeo

Posted: Monday, July 23, 2001

This year's "Cowboy Roundup" Progress Days Rodeo combines wrangling talent with hometown fun for all ages.

This year, the sponsors at the Soldotna Equestrian Association are teaming with the Ninilchik cow crowd to produce a "buckle series" on the Kenai Peninsula this summer for serious rodeo enthusiasts.

The new "triple crown" of competitions began in Ninilchik at the beginning of the month and will finish there at the Peninsula Fair in August. But the Progress Days event will anchor the mid section, said Vicki Sorrels, events director for the association.

"The first one turned out great," she said of the rodeo series.

"We are doing it all ourselves this year. We are not having a big contractor. It's more fun this way."

The competitive portion will include classic rodeo events such as barrel racing, pole bending, penning cattle and the slightly-goofy "wild cow milking," which asks couples to use teamwork to get up close and personal with cows that have never been within miles of a dairy barn.

The top three places will win cash prizes.

Children are invited to carnival games and into the arena for three-legged races, the down-and-dirty hide race and the challenging calf scramble.

The more sedentary and those who work up an appetite or thirst are invited to the "snack shack," which will include a no-host bar. For dinner, look for the "BBQ Chew Chew," serving as this year's chuck wagon.

The rodeo will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the rodeo grounds off Kalifornsky Beach Road, just east of the Soldotna Sports Center. Admission will be $6 for adults, $3 for children ages 7 to 12 and free for those 6 or younger.

Event entry forms and advance tickets are available at Echo Lake Feeds, the Far North Emporium and Point of View Realty.

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