Rumford returns to Rooftop

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Celebrated entertainer to showcase his talents for Estes Park crowds

ESTES PARK, Colo. – From his spot inside the fences, Justin Rumford looked up to the crowd packed inside Granny May Arena and marvels.

On the footsteps of the Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounded by a picturesque lake and the glorious peaks, he noticed something spectacular that came through the faces in the audience. For a man who was raised in rodeo, he identifies with most of them, even though they weren’t.

“Truthfully, a lot of those people aren’t really rodeo fans, but they want to be part of the rodeo experience,” said Rumford, the featured entertainer at Rooftop Rodeo, set for 7 p.m. Friday, July 5-Wedneday, July 10, at the arena inside the Estes Park Fairgrounds.

“We’ve got tourists that are stopping by while they’re in Estes Park. We get to cater to people that go to one rodeo a year, and they chose to come to this one. It’s pretty special when you think about it.”

The setting is unlike most of the events in professional rodeo. That’s something only Estes Park can offer, but it’s an experience that anyone could enjoy. For folks traveling to or through Colorado, it’s a destination town, and the rodeo has been a major part of the community for decades.

“Some people who come to the rodeo in Estes Park may never go to another rodeo,” Rumford said. “When you have a tourist rodeo like that, it’s so important to make those people feel like the show they saw was worth their dollar.

“I started my career in Cody, Wyoming, which also has a lot of tourists. You want to appeal to the tourists, but you also have to remember that there are still a lot of people that come to the rodeo because they like rodeo. You want to put on a show for everybody.”

That’s the way organizers think. They want nothing but the best, which is why Rumford returns. After a one-year hiatus, the entertainer is back where he rightfully belongs.

“When you rodeo for a living, you go to rodeos so you an get a check, but then you have the ones you truly enjoy,” said Rumford, a 10-time PRCA Clown of the Year from Ponca City, Oklahoma. “When I get to Estes Park, it feels like I’m home. That was one of my first rodeos, and I know a ton of people in town.

“It’s just fun. It’s one of those rodeo where it’s fun to be there. You’ve got great atmosphere, and how can you beat waking up overlooking that beautiful lake and the mountains surrounding you?”

Gates for Rooftop Rodeo open at 5 p.m. Friday, July 5-Wednesday, July 10, with the preshow beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the rodeo beginning at 7 p.m. To order tickets online or to obtain more information about Rooftop Rodeo, which is a Town of Estes Park signature event, log on to Other ticket inquiries may be made by contacting the Town of Estes Park Events office at or (970) 586-6104.


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