Rodeo and Reunion Is A Tradition
This is the time of year anticipation and the planning of a road trip home is well underway. Many Old Timers are making their plans to head back to the Park in celebration of reunions and catching up with old classmates from afar. Locals are preparing intensely over the upcoming two weeks, though, to nearly double in population for the festivities that come along with the Annual North Park Never Summer Rodeo. Whether it is for the rodeo, a class or Pioneer reunion that brings folks home, the excitement is felt as the 4th weekend in June marks the biggest event annually to take place in North Park.
Rodeo in North Park has been a long-standing tradition that has entertained the community, both by participating in and as being a spectator for approximately 75 years. Historical record contradicts exactly when the first rodeo was held in North Park, but we know that the Owl Creek Ranch had small community rodeos by the evidence of the attached photo. The first fair and rodeo grounds were built where the county shop now resides. In the 1920’s a rodeo ground was built on the hill north of town and has served as its home since that time. In 1948 the VFW held the first official fair and rodeo. After looking at royalty and historical records though we can surmise that the rodeo would be around 75 years old this year. Many years a small version of a rodeo also took place in conjunction with the North Park Pioneer Reunion, however it was intermittently.
The Pioneer Reunion is celebrating its 89th year of bringing North Park history makers together. It has been a age-old tradition to hold this reunion in conjunction with the rodeo, as well as class reunions for graduates from North Park High School from the last nine decades. Each year a new family is honored as the Pioneer Family of the year, a scrumptious meal is prepared and entertainment is provided while people come together and celebrate their past connections, be it through family or their alma mater.
The festivities grow and change every year, but one thing that doesn’t change is the importance of the Rodeo and Old Timer Reunion traditions here in North Park. Over the next two weeks, as we lead up to the grand event, we will be sharing details, stories and schedules about the North Park Never Summer Rodeo and Pioneer Reunion.
This year’s event will kick off with a concert celebration featuring Caitlyn Ochsner on Friday, June 23rd at the North Park Fairgrounds, Wattenberg Center. Saturday, June 24th is a full packed day with the North Park Pioneer Reunion followed by the first performance of the North Park Never Summer Rodeo. Sunday, June 25th is the big finale with a community parade, oyster fry, second rodeo performance and finally the Junior Rodeo.
Please tune in daily for a story that gives you all the details for each event, it’s history and more as we gear up to celebrate the 75th North Park Never Summer Rodeo and 89th North Park Pioneer Reunion June 23rd-June 25, 2017.
If you are eager to learn more on your own, please peruse the websites for both events and learn more, register and purchase tickets to start planning your own weekend of festivities. www.northparkneversummerrodeo.com www.northparkpioneermuseum.org