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Rodeo rides into town

51st Folsom Pro Rodeo opens this weekend
By: Ashley Whittingham Telegraph Staff Writer
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The spirit of the Old West is coming this weekend as the 51st Folsom Pro Rodeo returns to celebrate one of locals’ favorite traditions. The rodeo is sponsored by the Folsom Chamber of Commerce and will be taking place July 1-3 at the Dan Russell Arena at Folsom City Lions Park. Approximately 50 long-horn steer herded by cowboys will jog down Sutter Street at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 30, to kick off the celebration. The Cattle Drive is a 14-year-long tradition and is an event for the whole family. “Nothing really says rodeo like the cattle drive down Sutter,” said Marcia Durst, one of the rodeo’s organizers. “It’s one of the few cattle drives that still go through a historical district.” The cattle drive is presented by Wells Fargo Bank and will feature a classic symbol of the American west, the Wells Fargo Stage Coach. A new feature this year will be the Bulls and Brews Fun Run where runners decorated in western attire will race the cattle as they run from Sutter Middle School to Sutter Street. This year’s rodeo activities are sure to please crowds of all ages. Local skydiver Kent Lane will free fall 4,500 feet into the Folsom Pro Rodeo arena. Accompanied by patriotic music, he will deploy a 2,000-square-foot American flag during the descent, according to rodeo organizers. The Painted Ladies have wowed crowds for 18 years with their seven-and-a-half minute routine. This year they have added a new feature to the performance. One of the ladies will play the National Anthem on the saxophone while standing on her horse as it gallops around the arena. Professional motocross rider Jesse Jolson will catch “maximum air” in the Dan Russell Arena as he flies across jumps. The world-class rider will display his talent in the arena through his incredible flips and spins. The Folsom Pro Rodeo will also feature classic events such as bull-riding, steer wrestling, mutton busting, barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, bare-back riding, team roping, and tie-down roping. At dusk, a brilliant display of color will light up the sky as a nightly firework show explodes above the arena. Once the fireworks have faded, the festivities continue at Mike’s Golden Spike Saloon located in the lower level of the arena. Live music and dancing provide an ideal place to relax and socialize. The saloon also features a wide choice of specialty mixed drinks to sip on as you enjoy the night. The Brodie Stewart Band will be providing the live music every night at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Before returning to country music, Stewart performed in the Southern rock band Moon Dog Mane and opened for headline artists in sold-out arenas. Stewart has also written tracks for other musicians such as Enrique Iglesias and Flipsyde. “People who’ve never been to the rodeo before can expect an evening of traditional family fun,” said Kris Keables, one of the event organizers. “It’s more than a rodeo. We have entertainment from the moment they walk in the gate to the moment they go home.” The cost of tickets will be $19.50 for adults and $15 for children under 12 as well as for seniors. The online special Buckaroo packs are $60 plus online charge and include four adult tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas. This offer is available at folsomprorodeo.com.