Rodeo rides again
DAYTON — Since 1937, once a year, professional rodeo makes its way to small town Dayton, Iowa and brings with it several days of action and fun. The Dayton Championship Labor Day Rodeo returns this year ready to ride after 2020’s canceled event.
In addition to the main events, there will be a flea market, vendor show, and carnival set up throughout the weekend, a parade on Monday, a Kiddie Corral Saturday and Sunday evenings, and fireworks after the rodeo Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Rodeo goers of all ages can participate in several events including mutton bustin’ for younger kids, junior bull riding for older kids, the wild horse race for adults, and new this year, the sheep scramble for ages 8 to 12. Information for these events and how to get registered can be found on the rodeo website, daytonrodeo.com.
This year’s specialty act is Cowboy Kenny’s Steel Rodeo. Kenny Bartram, known as Cowboy Kenny, is an American professional freestyle motocross rider who entertains rodeo crowds across the country.
“You’ll see amazing freestyle motocross, like you watch at the X games,” said Bartram, “I’ll be hanging off the back of the bike and the front of the bike. It’s a high flying act.” Throughout the years, Kenny has had 22 broken bones, seven knocked-out teeth, a steel plate in his jaw, and a damaged blood vessel in his brain. Despite the dangers, he performs his high-flying tricks all over the United States.
Rodeo spectators will enjoy some laughs as well thanks to this year’s rodeo clown, Gizmo McCracken. He has been nominated for the rodeo Comedy Act of the Year many times and won the award in 2017. He said, “”We live in a world where it is hard to laugh anymore. We need to learn to laugh again.”
McCracken performs as several different characters in his acts. He said, “The best compliment I get is when a little kid comes up to me after the rodeo and asks me, ‘Which one were you?'”
The rodeo shows are Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 6 at 1:30 p.m. The annual Labor Day parade will begin in Dayton at 10 a.m. on Monday.
Tickets are available at daytonrodeo.com and at the gate.