Despite the rapid growth currently happening in St. George, there are still deep rooted traditions that will always be a part of this community. One of those long standing traditions – rodeos!
The Dixie Roundup Rodeo has a history dating all the way back to 1935, with this year being their 84th annual event! When the Dixie Roundup first started, there was no dedicated space for it – just a bunch of cowboys in the town square using their wagons and cars as fencing during the event. In 1947, the Sun Bowl had been built and Dixie Roundup finally had a designated space for their annual events – fencing and all.
Usually held over three consecutive nights, Dixie Roundup generally holds a family night the first night, where children are free and can enjoy watching youngsters their own age participate in events. Nightly events include bareback, steer wrestling, mutton busting, barrel racing, bull riding, and more. Sponsored and run by the St. George Lions Club, an international service club organization, most of the revenue gets put back into the community. A historic annual event that brings lots of visitors and excitement to downtown St. George, Dixie Roundup should definitely be on your list of to-do’s when living here.
Another popular rodeo is the Veyo Rodeo, held in Veyo, Utah – a short 25 minute drive from downtown St. George. The Veyo Rodeo was non-existent for 12 years when the organizers were finding it difficult to find a space for it and cover the rising insurance costs. Then in 2011, a local family took control and they were able to get it going again. They even got a Veyo Rodeo Arena built, with lots of volunteers and donations from local businesses.
The family that currently runs the Veyo Rodeo like to keep it a kids event. They say that there are plenty of pro-rodeo events where you can watch seasoned cowboys, but the Veyo Rodeo is one of the few events where kids can just have fun in the rodeo events. Their goal is to keep it fun! Their nightly events include a breakaway, mutton busting, roping, barrels, and a greased pig chase. Another fun event to put on your calendar if you prefer a more laid back, family-friendly environment.
A 4 hour drive away in Salt Lake City, they recently built a $17.5-million-dollar outdoor arena to hold the popular Days of ‘47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo. Part of Utah’s pioneer celebrations this event is massive, with a total of $1 million in prize money and gold, silver, and bronze medals. A non-profit, volunteer organization, Days of ‘47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo have a mission to honor their pioneer heritage and educate Utah’s kids.
The fun-filled event has a lot more than just the rodeo. The Frontier Fun Zone is free entry and has something fun for everyone to enjoy before the rodeo starts. This Fun Zone includes a petting zoo, pony rides, mechanical bull rides, carnival rides, and a country music stage. There is even a mini rodeo for the junior cowboys and cowgirls to show off their skills. Because this event is held during the Days of ‘47 celebration, there is also plenty of history to be learned as well at the Native American Village, the Pioneer Camp, and the Mountain Men Trading Camp. They also promise finger-licking BBQ so whether you’re in the mood for fun and games, dancing, learning something new, or good food, you can find it all at the Days of ‘47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo in Salt Lake City.
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the season-ending championship event, is held 90 minutes away in Las Vegas. It is said to be ProRodeo’s richest and most prestigious rodeo, showcasing the very best cowboys, barrel racers, and livestock in the world.
This 10 day event is broadcast to more than 55 million households on the CBS Sports Network. Held every year since 1959, this Rodeo is the perfect way to end out the season – amidst world champion cowboys in the City of Lights, and only a short drive from home in St. George.
We love living in St. George and enjoying these pieces of local history while still being close enough to drive to the national events as well. As we close out the season, we are marking our calendars and looking forward to next year’s rodeos.