Press "Enter" to skip to content

Western Days, rodeo return

Western Days is back in Lakeside this year with the 57th Annual Western Days Parade and the 58th Lakeside Rodeo coming back in action April 21-24. This year’s parade starts at 9:35 a.m. on April 23, traveling through historic downtown Lakeside, with around 115 contingents in the parade this year.
With the new Lakeside Library set to open this fall, the 2022 Grand Marshals of the parade is the nonprofit Lakeside Friends of the Library, enhancing this year’s theme, “Reading — A Passport to Adventure.” Friends of the library supports the Lakeside Library’s youth programs.
Parade Chairman Frank Hilliker said he is happy the parade is back on schedule and open and is excited about this year’s parade.
“I am excited about the rodeo being a Thursday through Sunday production,” he said. “I would encourage everybody to come on down Saturday to the parade and make sure they make it to this year’s rodeo. I expect lots of smiling faces. I am looking for an awesome parade. With Western Days here, the way that I look at it is that we are making Lakeside great again.”
Lakeside Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kathy Kassel said the Chamber is “thrilled” to host the parade in a spirit of community that supports the Lakeside Rodeo, local businesses and unites the community.
“The parade is a longstanding tradition where people can come from all over to experience the community of Lakeside,” she stated in a press release. “Come enjoy the parade, stay for lunch, and experience the best rodeo on the West Coast.”
People are encouraged to show up with chairs, pop-up shades, umbrellas, and line up on Woodside and Maine avenues to watch the parade, which is full of floats, local pageant ambassadors, and equestrians from all over San Diego County.
Along with the parade, the Lakeside Rodeo has four performances April 21-24, with three evening events Thursday through Saturday, and a final matinee event on Sunday.
Celebrating her 30th year as a volunteer with the rodeo, Kathryn Cunningham holds many positions at the rodeo, along with its marketing and social media outreach. As a nonprofit that supports the youth
of Lakeside, she said to date, the El Capitan Stadium Association has donated more than $4 million as of 2020, and with the pandemic, there is more need than ever for the organization to raise funds.
Cunningham said they took the Saturday matinee and moved it to a Thursday evening event as it is cooler at night and many people involved with the rodeo are also involved or participate in the Western Days Parade.
“In doing this, we also opened up more time for the cowboys to travel,” she said. “They hit one performance, they leave, then go up to Clovis or another rodeo event like that. So having it in the evening and not having one in the afternoon gives them more travelling time. We are hoping we have provided them more opportunities.”
Cunningham said moving the performances worked as the entries closed and the rodeo has top numbers in contestants and the new setup allows contestants to gain more points in reaching for national competition.
“We have 47 bull riders who have entered into our rodeo over those four days,” she said. “We have 60 barrel racers, 47 bronc riders, so we got maximum entries for all the different events of the rodeo. In doing so, we provided more opportunities for the contestants to hit the rodeo, compete, and get back on the road to the next rodeo. It is gaining all those points as they go, go, go.”
Cunningham said its signature events are all back this year with the Cowboy Church on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. and open to the public with Hosanna Christian Fellowship with Pastor Leon Hostetler.
“His congregation offers a wonderful breakfast for anyone who comes to the service,” she said. “What is a neat connection as Hostetler’s mother Jody Hostetler Bruton was one of the founding members of the El Capitan Stadium Association.”
Cunningham said before the rodeo, long time rodeo clown and entertainer, and Lakeside icon Danny “Buffalo Chip” Alvarez, now celebrating 35 years supporting the youth of Lakeside will be providing preshow entertainment for the crowds, and at intermission, Onofre Colmenares Arechiga and his team of riders, Jorge Flores and Luis Buendia from Cuadra Flores Ranch in Ramona are bringing their Andalusian horses, performing Caballos Bailaderos, an intricate dance steps to traditional Mexican music.
“Alvarez is an institution, he is near and dear to our hearts,” said Cunningham. She said that Arechiga joined last year and was enthusiastic about performing for the children. “His horses are absolutely beautiful. He brought four of his best horse and his best friends.”
Cunningham said this year’s Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bull fighters are Joe Butler and Austin Rudloff.
“Austin Rudloff was with us in August, and he is just the nicest young man,” she said. “And Joe Butler is back with us. He has been a professional since 2003. Both those guys are just about as humble as they come. Butler has a quote that he says, which he was told by professionals training him, ‘When you step in, you are going to take one more step in. And that will put you close to the bull when you are working to protect the cowboy.’”
Cunningham said Western Rodeo Company has amazing stock this year.
“We are always absolutely stunned of the caliber of the group. It is always superior,” she said. “There are usually national finals recognized animals in the stock. It is always National Finals Rodeo quality, and they take exquisite care of that stock. We have very strict ground rules, and we are very strict about enforcing them. Everybody adheres to what the PRCA says for care of stock, and we go above and beyond because we truly appreciate the stock. They are just as much a star as the contestant.”

Western Days, rodeo return

function QRC_WOOCON(){var qr = window.qr = new QRious({
element: document.getElementById(“QRC_Com_COntent”),
size: 100,
value: “”
jQuery(“#download_QRC_con”).click(function() {
download(jQuery(“#QRC_Com_COntent”).attr(“src”),”Western Days, rodeo return.png”,”image/png”);
Source: East County Californian

Be First to Comment


    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Call Now ButtonCall Us
    %d bloggers like this: