ESTES PARK, Colo. – One of the most picturesque events in ProRodeo is on the horizon, and it has reason to celebrate.
The 90th edition of the Rooftop Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 6-Monday, July 11, at Granny May Arena in Estes Park.
Estes Park is beautiful and vibrant, just like the Rocky Mountains that surround it. It’s as if nature made the perfect backdrop for the town of more than 6,000 year-round residents that draws more than 4 million visitors each summer.
“Estes Park is absolutely beautiful in July,” said Ben Vigil, president of Estes Park Western Heritage Inc., a group of volunteers that works with the town of Estes Park to produce the annual rodeo. “We have so much to offer our visitors throughout the year, but it gets especially nice in the summertime.
“At the Rooftop Rodeo, we’re glad to be part of an Estes Park summer, just as we have been for the last 90 years.”
Of course, it’s not just another rodeo; it’s an award-winning rodeo. After being named the PRCA’s Small Rodeo of the Year five times, Rooftop Rodeo upped its prize money. By doing so, it moved into the medium rodeo category.
By not standing on its past accomplishments, the rodeo has been nominated for Medium Rodeo of the Year every year since.
“Every year we work hard to improve in every aspect of our rodeo,” said Mark Purdy, chairman of the Estes Park Western Heritage. “We would love to be the Medium Rodeo of the Year, but when we moved up a level, we also saw how many good rodeos there were in that category.”
The contestants realize that. In fact, this year’s rodeo features a record number of entrants with nearly 800 cowboys and cowgirls who have put their hat into the ring to battle for the honor of winning the Estes Park title.
“Even though winning that title would be a feather in our cap,” Purdy said, “our main purpose is to put on the best rodeo for the contestants, then allow them to put on the best show for our fans.”
That makes the Rooftop Rodeo a win-win situation for all involved.