Penn Valley Rodeo strong as ever heading into 60th event
May 17, 2017
Know & Go
5 p.m.: Gates open; vendors open; Barbeque with Buffalo Boys Barbeque; Live music with Reggie Hall from 5-7 and then following the Rodeo for the Rodeo Dance
7 p.m.: Grand Entry and CCPRA Rodeo with pro rodeo announcer Don Jesser and pro rodeo entertainer/clown Dusty Barrett
9 a.m.: Rodeo slack
3 p.m.: Gates open and vendors open; Rodeo Parade downtown Penn Valley
4 p.m.: Barbeque with Buffalo Boys Barbeque
4:30 p.m. Live music with Reggie Hall from 4:30 to 5:30 and then following the Rodeo for the Rodeo Dance
5:30 p.m. Grand Entry and CCPRA Rodeo with pro rodeo announcer Don Jesser and pro rodeo entertainer/clown Dusty Barrett
8:30 a.m.: Gates open; Registration for the 5th Annual Penn Valley Community Rodeo Family Rodeo from 8:30 to 9:45
9 a.m.: Cowboy Church with Kip Holbrooke, The Hale Family and Friends.
Through good times and bad the Penn Valley Rodeo has managed to persevere over the course of 60 years.
The low point may have been 2004, when no rodeo was held at all. The following year, however, a group of Penn Valley citizens formed the Penn Valley Community Rodeo Association, became an official nonprofit and have kept the show running since.
"I gotta tell you, it's a lot of hard work by a lot of people," current rodeo association president John Favetti said.
In fact, in 2005 the event struggled under new management, in part because the new nonprofit was still learning its way but also because the proverbial parade got literally rained on.
"By the time it was over, we had members putting up money out of their own pockets to pay vendors," Favetti recalled. "But then Bob Winters, who was president back then and is president emeritus now, did an incredible job of rounding up sponsors."
Now, celebrating 60 years, the grounds are gussied up and ready to be shown off.
"We've done a lot of sprucing up around the grounds," Favetti said, saying the handicapped ramp and viewing area have been rebuilt and repainted, the cook house and picnic tables have gotten a new coat of paint and there's a new area called "Casey's Corner" that's a facade of an old-time cowboy town.
This is still the 60th anniversary despite the missing year in 2004 because, according to Favetti, two rodeos had been held once in one of the previous years.
The Penn Valley Community Rodeo Association prides itself on joining forces with other nonprofits, the local chamber of commerce, schools and other organizations.
The event, of course, draws a number of people to the area and the rodeo itself is part of the California Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association, which helps draw a higher level of talent. As an event sanctioned by that association, the rodeo draws professionals competing for points toward statewide awards on top of the purse offered by the local rodeo.
Returning once again to announce the event will be Don Jesser along with award-winning rodeo entertainer and clown Dusty Barrett.
New this year also will be the return of musician Reggie Hall, who made a name for himself in Penn Valley playing shows at The Tack Room steakhouse.
Ross Maak is the City Editor of The Union. He can be reached at 530-477-4229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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