Rodeo fans, it’s time to dust off your spurs, and don your cowboy hats. The International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) will host its historic rodeo Aug. 10 and 11 at the Akron Summit County Rodeo grounds as part of the Gay Games 9 events.
The rodeo action will take place all day on both days from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. A Grand Entry begins at noon. Also included will be Country and Western entertainment and vendors of all types on both rodeo days.
After the Rodeo or as a change of pace, be sure to dust off your cowboy boots and hats and come out to the “Wild West Dance at Charlie’s Saloon and Dance Hall” on the rodeo grounds. The dance is Sunday night Aug. 10, from 8 p.m. til 1 a.m. and costs $10 to get in.
Attendees may either pre-pay for tickets at gaygamesrodeo.org or at the door, and then dance up a storm with their favorite rodeo contestants and lots of other cowboys and cowgirls from all over the world. Those who don’t yet know how to two-step may take advantage of dance lessons for beginner couples and line dancers.
IGRA and its member associations across the U.S. and Canada have been hosting rodeos for more than 30 years. There are roping events, speed events such as barrel racing on horseback, bull and steer riding, bucking broncs and camp events.
Camp events are unique to gay rodeo and beginners may participate in Goat Dressing, Steer Decorating and Wild Drag Race. There will also be Calf Roping and Chute Dogging. The Rodeo expects about 120 experienced and new contestants from all over the U.S., Canada and the world to attend and compete.
Gay rodeos have many safety provisions to prevent injuries to the animals and the contestants. For this reason, the gay rodeo events are not precisely the same as straight rodeo events. Animal welfare and contestant safety are top priorities.
The fairgrounds are located at 800 North Ave., in Tallmadge.