Week-long celebration continues

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

“Dedicated to the perpetuation of the spirit of the Old West and preservation of American ideals …”

— From Cavalcade


Activities are already underway for Cavalcade 2015, the 69th-annual amateur rodeo which continues through Sunday at the Osage County Fairgrounds Arena.

Sponsored by the International Roundup Clubs, the week-long Cavalcade celebration will feature more than 1,000 contestants from riding and roping clubs throughout the area. Club campsites covering over 100 acres transformed the fairgrounds into a city of its own — Cavalcade City.

Competitions in a dozen different rodeo events are conducted during four morning and four evening performances at the Fairgrounds’ Arena. In next Sunday’s Cavalcade Finals, winners of team and individual honors — and thousands of dollars in prize money — will be determined.

Related activities include the Cavalcade Queen Contest, nightly dances and a Saturday parade through downtown Pawhuska. Since the inaugural Cavalcade was held in 1947, the annual event has grown to be one of the largest amateur rodeo events in the country.

The Pawhuska Roundup Club hosted pole and barrel racing warmup events Saturday evening. Cavalcade offices opened Sunday afternoon as clubs and contestants — including several ride-in entries — continued to arrive at the fairgrounds’ facilities on the south end of town.

On Monday afternoon, contestants for 2015-16 Cavalcade Queen went through orientation at Fairgrounds’ Agriculture Building. Later that day, the Queen Horsemanship competition was held in the the Arena.

Queen candidate interviews were conducted at the Ag Building on Tuesday afternoon prior to the Queen’s BBQ and Fashion Show at 5 p.m. The Cavalcade Street Dance on Tuesday evening provided what is generally considered to be the official opening of Pawhuska’s renowned amateur rodeo.

The first of four consecutive morning performances for Cavalcade 2015 took place Tuesday and the second came on Wednesday. All morning sessions start at 9 a.m. There is a $5 admission fee for adults at the early rodeo performances.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, a Cavalcade Grand Entry is to precede the initial evening rodeo performance. The 7 p.m. starting time will likewise apply for the evening performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Admission costs $8 for adults and $3 for children between the ages of 6-12.

Following each of the evening performances, a “Dance Under the Stars” will take place in the designated area adjacent to the Arena. Cover charge is $10 for the Wednesday dance and $20 for attending the Thursday-through-Saturday events.

Cavalcade Kiddo Day, featuring special rodeo-type activities for children, will start at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Clarence Brantley Indoor Arena, which is located just east of the outdoor arena. While no admission is charged at Kiddo Day, there is $5 entry fee for participants. Another special event, the Cavalcade Blaze Youth Ministry, is scheduled to be held at 2 p.m. Friday.

The Cavalcade Finals begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday. By the time everything concludes late that afternoon, championships will have been awarded in each of the rodeo events, a new Cavalcade Queen will have been crowned and the club that has compiled the most points during the week will be named as the 2015 Best All Around Club.

But, as they say in Cavalcade Town, that’s all still a ways down the road.