Rooftop Rodeo’s annual procession returns after a three-year hiatus
ESTES PARK, Colo. – The sounds of horse’s hooves clacking along the pavement on Elkhorn Avenue have been missing.
They’ll return this summer.
With them will be the return of the Rooftop Rodeo Parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 6. It will be the first time since 2019 that the rodeo’s parade has been part of one of the major summertime events in Estes Park.
“When COVID hit in 2020, it shut down most of what makes Estes Park so great,” said Rob Hinkle, the community services director for the Town of Estes Park. “Most of our businesses were shuttered or virtually non-existent, and those businesses are the major sponsors that make the rodeo happen. In working with the Estes Park Western Heritage, we realized in good conscience that we couldn’t put on a rodeo that year.
“Because we didn’t know what to expect the next year, we had to wait to see if we could even have a rodeo in 2021. Because of that, we decided against having some of the extra things, like the parade. By the time we got everything lined up for last year’s rodeo, it was too late to pull everything together to have the parade, so the goal was to come back in 2023.”
The time has come, and the community is excited. The parade has been a major part of the rodeo experience for many in Estes Park, and it will come marching down the avenue in just a few weeks.
The parade will begin near Big Horn Restaurant on West Elkhorn Avenue and head east to the intersection at Big Thompson Avenue, North St. Vrain Avenue and East Wonderview Avenue, where the parade will take a right turn on North St. Vrain. It will remain in that direction until making another right turn on Fourth Street, ending at Estes Park Fairgrounds.
As crowds of people pack the parade route, they will see a spectacle that is special to the folks in Estes Park and the surrounding communities. Whether it’s the Cervi Rodeo team leading a herd of bucking horses down the road or hearing the bells ring on antique firetrucks, there is something for people of all ages along the way.
“The return of the parade is an important part of bringing the full Rooftop Rodeo experience to Estes Park,” said Cindy Schonholtz, Rooftop Rodeo’s coordinator. “We’re excited to promote Rooftop Rodeo with a parade that we know will bring smiles to many faces.”
Gates for Rooftop Rodeo open at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 5-Monday, July 10, with the preshow beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the rodeo beginning at 7 p.m. For more information about Rooftop Rodeo, which is a Town of Estes Park signature event, or to order tickets online, log on to www.RooftopRodeo.com. Other ticket inquiries may be made by contacting the Town of Estes Park Events office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 586-6104.