AUGUSTA — The Augusta American Legion Rodeo is back with three days full of events beginning on Friday, with festivities kicking off with live music playing all over town and a concert at the rodeo grounds.
Saturday will feature the Wapiti 10k, 5k, and 1 mile run, a kids carnival, and a parade that starts at 2:00 p.m. with the theme “Proud to be an American.”
“Every year we pick a theme for the parade and the weekend in general, and with the Covid year, that was really rough on our entire country. We chose the theme of ‘Proud to be an American’ because we really want to show people how much we love our state, but also the United States of America, and really celebrate that this weekend, and celebrate that we’re back in action, people are back out exploring and adventuring, and the Augusta Rodeo has returned to our sweet little mountain town,” explained Tia Troy, president of the Augusta Area Chamber of Commerce.
On Saturday evening, music will begin again and Slack for the overflow of rodeo participants begins at 5:00 p.m. with no cost of admission. On Sunday morning, a pancake breakfast will be served by the Augusta Volunteer Fire Department, and the rodeo will start at 2:00 p.m.
With a population just above 300 people, the town of Augusta’s yearly revenue relies heavily on the tourism brought in from the rodeo.
In 2018 and 2019, the area received a lot of rain, which caused the rodeo grounds to flood, and last year the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the rodeo for the first time since it began in 1936 and what was supposed to be their 85th annual rodeo this year, is now the 84th.
“Yeah, I think everybody’s looking forward to it,” said Ben Arps, chairman for the Augusta American Legion Rodeo Committee. “You know, like I say, it’s a big deal for our little town every year and people are wanting to get out and do something, last year was spent cooped up and I think they had plenty of that, so everybody wants to get out and do something and hopefully the weather’s going to be good and hopefully everybody comes.”
After three years of struggle due to rain, flooding, and then Covid, this year’s Augusta American Legion Rodeo is expected to be one of the best ever, with sunny skies in the forecast.
Admission to the rodeo is $15 for adults and $5 for children, with additional $20 Reserved Seating.
FULL LIST OF WEEKEND PLANS FROM THE AUGUSTA AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FACEBOOK PAGE:
-4:30 p.m.: Music at the Taylor Agency (Main Street)
-8 p.m.: Street dance from SunsAh406 in Lazy B Bar & Cafe
-DJ Handsome inside Buckhorn Bar
-Fun Run: 10K at 7:30 a.m.; 5K at 9 a.m.; 1 mile at 10:15 a.m.
-Parade is at 2 p.m. (Grand Marshalls are Ben and Barb Arps)
-Face painting, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. (in between Allen's and Buckhorn)
-Slack is at 5 p.m.
-Music downtown (Raging Dragon Karaoke and DJ at the Western Bar; DJ Handsome Entertainment between the Buckhorn Bar and Allen’s Manix Store)
-Pancake breakfast by Augusta Volunteer Fire Department (7 a.m. - 10 a.m. at Taylor Agency on Main Street)
-Rodeo at 2 p.m.
-Music at Western Bar
You'll also find vendors throughout town, while you can grab grub from local businesses like Lazy B Bar and Cafe, Buckhorn Bar, Allen's Manix Store (The Trading Post) and Wagons West Motel, RV Park & Restaurant.