Better known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” Bandera, Texas, is a destination rich in rodeo history, cowboy culture, and musical tradition. It’s the ideal location to get away from the daily grind with stunning natural vistas and one-of-a-kind community events. From watching rodeo competitions featuring the best professional cowboys and cowgirls in the world to listening to upcoming music acts at the famous Arkey Blue's Silver Dollar, Bandera offers an experience unlike any other.
The Bandera ProRodeo is heading into its 34th year, and will take place May 26-28, at the Mansfield Park Arena. It’s a PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association) sanctioned competition, showcasing the skills of the finest cowboys and cowgirls on the planet. Riders will compete in categories such as All-Around, Bareback, Steer Wrestling, and more. Top category riders will receive cash prizes as well as points toward their overall rank in the PRCA standings. The event also features kids activity and vendor areas adjacent to the main event in Mansfield Park. Visitors should make sure to stop by other Bandera Memorial Day events including the Memorial Weekend Parade, Get Your Cook On BBQ Cookoff, and an Art & Craft Fair. We got the opportunity to interview Janna Lindig, President of the Bandera ProRodeo Association, to learn more about this showcase of cowboy culture.
RAL: Tell me about the event.
JL: Bandera is known as the Cowboy Capital of the World. It doesn't matter that Bandera County has a population of fewer than 21,000 people; we host a rodeo weekend that has historically drawn champion cowboys from all over the United States and spectators from all over the world.
RAL: What makes the event unique?
JL: Bandera ProRodeo provides the opportunity for spectators to be up close to the professional cowboys and cowgirls who compete in the rodeo. The producer of the rodeos, RafterG Rodeo, is the perfect producer for Bandera ProRodeo because, like Bandera, RafterG is legendary. RafterG, started by Neal Gay, has produced rodeos for 60 years, producing the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo (known as “The Biggest Around”) as well as rodeos for “smaller” communities like Bandera.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
JL: Entertainment will be by John Harrison. John Harrison is a high energy Rodeo Clown with strong, professional acts. Do not be surprised if he scales the arena barriers joining the crowd. John has received many awards for his performances including, the 2013 & 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Barrelman, the 2014 Coors Man in the Can & Comedy Act of the Year, and the 2015 PRCA Comedy Act of the Year. John provides the fun, lively atmosphere a crowd should expect & enjoy at a rodeo.
RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.
JL: These rodeos provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy good, clean fun. Gates open at 5:30 pm. Food, crafts, and the electronic bucking bull will be available on the arena grounds. This year’s events include Grand Entry -- everyone who brings his or her horse (with proof of Coggins) can ride in the Grand Entry. Wrangler Stick Horse Races take place at 6:00 pm before the rodeo starts. It consists of youngsters racing around the area on stick horses with prizes awarded to the winners. Justin Mutton Bustin’ consists of kids attempting to ride sheep for as long as possible until they are bucked off. The sign up for the Justin Mutton Bustin’ starts at 6:00 pm, and the number of participants per night is limited to 12, so be at the arena early to ensure your ride! Please note there is a weight limit of 45 pounds. Mutton Bustin’ competition occurs during the rodeo. The winner each night will receive a certificate for a free pair of Justin boots.
RAL: Why should people come?
JL: The rodeos provide good, clean fun, at a bargain price! Come rodeo with us and enjoy our tradition of having great rodeos.
For more information about the Bandera ProRodeo, please visit the event website.