Cavalcade 2016 will represent 70th anniversary of local event

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

The 70th-annual International Roundup Clubs Cavalcade will begin transforming the Osage County Fairgrounds into a unique “rodeo city” this weekend — and in 10 days, nearly all of it will have vanished until next year.

A local tradition since 1947, Cavalcade is billed as “the world’s largest amateur rodeo.” It officially begins July 18 and runs through the Sunday finals on July 24.

Contestants in the nine rodeo performances represent participating riding and roundup clubs. The rodeo performances begin Tuesday morning and are held twice daily Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the Cavalcade Finals finals start at 11 a.m.

Events include bareback bronc riding, bull riding, wild horse races, team roping, wild cow milking, calf roping, pony express races, barrel races, pole bending, flag races and chuck wagon races. There is also a Cavalcade Queen contest, which this year will feature 18 club-sponsored candidates.

The build-up to Cavalcade 2016 begins Friday with a Pawhuska Round Up Club-hosted Play Day. All Cavalcaders are welcome at this event, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Osage County Fairgrounds’ Ben Son Johnson Arena.

A Cavalcade Warm-Up will be held Saturday at the OCF Arena. Pole Exhibitions at 5:30 p.m. are to be followed by Barrel Exhibitions around 6:30 p.m. Beginning at 8 p.m., there will be BBR-sanctioned Open 5D Barrel Races, with at least $1,000 added money.

Cavalcade’s Office at the fairgrounds opens Sunday, July 17. (Due to a pending construction project, this year’s office is being moved to the OCF Women’s Building, slightly west of its previous location.) Clubs can check in and pick up contest packets from 1-5 p.m.

The following schedule will be observed for this year’s Cavalcade Dress Up Days: Tuesday — Superhero Day; Wednesday — Beach Day (“Ocean Front Oklahoma”); Thursday — Throwback Thursday; Friday — Pink Night (“Cavalcade versus Cancer), and Saturday — Red, white and blue (“The Night of the Patriot”).


On Tuesday, July 19, the Cavalcade Street Dance serves as a welcoming event — with no admission charged. The band will be Riders Ford. Dance admission at the gate will be $10 Wednesday night (for John Baumann) and $20 for the nightly shows Thursday (Cory Morrow), Friday (Jason Boland & the Stragglers) and Saturday (Cody Johnson). Advance dance tickets can be purchased off a link on the Cavalcade website at

Adult admission to Cavalcade Rodeo Performances is $5 for morning performances and $8 for each evening performance. All-performance admission is $3 for children 6 through 12. All-Access and Rodeo Only arm bands are only sold in advance. All-Access bands are $75 and allow admission to all rodeo performances and dances. Adult Rodeo Only Arm Bands are $45 and Child Rodeo Only bands go for $15. All armbands can be purchased by credit card off the Cavalcade website, or on the club entry blanks.


Monday, July 18

Queen Candidate Orientation starts at 1 p.m. in the Osage County Fairgrounds’ Agriculture Building. The Queen Horsemanship Contest begins at 7 p.m. in OCF’s Ben Johnson Arena.

Tuesday, July 19

The first of the morning rodeo performances gets going at 9 a.m.

In the afternoon, queen candidate interviews start at 2:30 p.m. in the OCF Ag Building, followed by the the queen contest barbecue and fashion show at 5 p.m. (Discount dinner tickets available in advance; regular price at the door.)

Cavalcade street dance kicks off at 8 p.m. in historic downtown Pawhuska. Riders Ford band will perform. Another part of the entertainment is Radio Station KRIG’s Country Showdown singing competition between previously-determined finalists Cali Creek, Rusty Meyers and Josie Zepeda.

Wednesday, July 20

Rodeo action intensifies. Another morning performance is set at 9 a.m. Cavalcade’s first evening performance begins with a 7 p.m. grand entry. A Dance Under the Stars at 10 p.m. will have music by John Baumann.

Thursday, July 21

A morning performance of the rodeo contestants rolls at 9 a.m. “Kiddo Day” begins 11:30 a.m. with children’s events at OCF’s Clarence Brantley Indoor Arena (free admission/$5 entry fee). Grand entry at 7 p.m. for evening performance. Dance Under the Stars begins 10 p.m., featuring Cory Morrow.

Friday, July 22

Morning Performance at 9 a.m. Cavalcade blaze youth ministry, 2 p.m. service. Grand entry at 7 p.m. for evening performance. Dance Under the Stars, 10 p.m., with Jason Boland and the Stragglers.

Saturday, July 23

Cavalcade Parade, downtown Pawhuska, 10 a.m. Grand entry at 7 p.m. for the evening performance; Dance Under the Stars, 10 p.m., with music by Cody Johnson.

Sunday, July 24

Finals performance starts at 11 a.m.