North Washingto VFD to Host 60th Annual Rodeo
The North Washington Volunteer Fire Department is excited to announce that it will host its 60th Annual rodeo on August 13th-17th at the North Washington Rodeo Arena.
The parade will start the weeklong event on August 12th at 6:30 pm. Showtime will start at 8 pm each evening and thousands will come to enjoy the cowgirl roping, bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, and barrel racing fun.
Just how did the North Washington Rodeo come into existence?
A man by the name of Clayton Bell from Birmingham, New York brought an idea to the town of North Washington, Pennsylvania that the firemen should consider holding a rodeo. And from there, the North Washington Rodeo was born.
The first rodeo was held in August 1959. The first contract was signed with Foy Reynolds on Bonifay, Florida. A 20 acre pieced of ground was rented from Mr. Ed Rasp in order to have enough parking and an arena. Bleachers were rented and borrowed from Pullman Park and Slippery Rock University. The first rodeo showed such huge attendance that the firemen had to use bales of hay on the hillside for seating.
The second year of the now annual rodeo saw new bleachers and the start of permanent fences made from “sucker rods”. Many local men spent many hours welding the fence. At this time permanent buildings for eating facilities were also started. In the early years a lot of their contestants stayed in their Truck House for lack of funds to stay in motels. Many local homes also made rooms available for contestants.
Now the North Washington Rodeo is one of the best rodeos in the country and sanctioned by the International Professional Rodeo Association and their stock contractor is Rawhide Rodeo Company.
As the years have progressed, the firemen have been able to increase the seating capacity to approximately 7,000 seats. They have also made tremendous improvement to the function of the arena by adding buildings, improving lighting, showers and the purchase of 20 acres of land from the revenue brought in from ticket sales to the Rodeo. They have also purchased new fire equipment from the proceeds. Come on out and help support this long standing tradition.
Ticket prices are $16.00 for adults and $8.00 for kids, and under 3 are free. Discounted tickets are available online. All proceeds from the event benefit the North Washington Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of new, updated equipment as well as further improvements to the rodeo arena. For more information and discounted tickets visit www.nwvfd.com/rodeo.