By April 6, 2011 Read More →

Oakdale Rodeo: 60 Years of Tradition

      For 60 years, the Oakdale Rodeo has been a destination for some of the most famous cowboys in the world. Fans from everywhere have enjoyed some of the greatest exhibitions of athleticism and determination put on by the best of the best in the sport of rodeo. Not only are the cowboys athletic, the livestock is amazingly fit and well prepared for a battle between man and beast. The rodeo experience is a test of both brains and brawn and has brought great pride to the City of Oakdale for 6 decades.

      Known as the Cowboy Capitol of the World, Oakdale is home to some of the finest in the sport. Names like Jerold Camarillo, Leo Camarillo, Ace Berry, Jim Charles, Harley May, Ted Nuce and Sonny Tureman have served up spectacular performances over the years and have their share of buckles and championships.  These are the legends.

     This year, another Oakdale star is sure to surface and bring even more recognition to this tradition of Oakdale cowboy stardom. It may be bull rider Bo Bacigalupi. Possibly, team ropers Lance Harvey, Lane Murray, Tyler Quiring or Joe Shawnego could raise a few brows. Maybe even one of the guys going after the all around like Danny Leslie for steer wrestling and team roping, or Troy Murray competing in calf roping and team roping. It’s a proud tradition and as other things change, one thing stays the same; rodeo is a tradition in the Cowboy Capitol.

      The 60th Oakdale Rodeo kicks off on Saturday April 9th with the ever popular Oakdale Rodeo Parade beginning at 9am. Grand entry of the rodeo takes place both Saturday and Sunday at 1:30pm and this year will have a special patriotic theme to honor our troops with a fly over of World War II aircraft. The American Flag will enter the arena through the air with a skydiving performance as well. “We’re very patriotic here at the saddle club and we want to honor our troops in a big way”, says Ed Viohl, President of the Oakdale Saddle Club.

      On the lighter side, but no less dangerous, the Oakdale Rodeo will have Brian Potter, renowned rodeo clown and entertainer. “This is a big deal” says Viohl, “Brian is one the greatest rodeo clowns in the country and really entertains the crowd.” Potter sometimes performs with his 9 year old daughter who is a trick rider and performs on her 31 inch horse. Yes, you heard that right, 31 inches. He also pleases the crowd with motorcycle stunts and other amazing feats that help to complete the entire rodeo experience. All of this while doing the main job at hand, protect the cowboys from the bulls when their ride is complete.  As much fun as it is to watch the clowns perform, the most important thing is take care of the cowboy.

      Oakdale lights up for the weekend of April 9th and 10th with plenty of opportunities for fun. Enjoy the parade, the rodeo and the dance on Saturday night or the rodeo on Sunday. Around town, you can always find a pure rodeo party at the H bar B Saloon, rated one of the best cowboy bars in the west by American Cowboy Magazine. The Cow Track Lounge or the Battered Beaver could be your alternative to the country scene or you might even head north for some fun at the Whisky River Saloon.  Whatever it is that you choose to do; there will be plenty of options. So dust off your hat put on your boots and be a part of a 60 year tradition in the Cowboy Capitol of the World.



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.