Kick up your spurs because the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo & Parade ignites its 75th “Denim and Diamonds” year with four days of action-packed thrills. It all takes place at the Elks Unocal Event Center in Santa Maria from Thursday, May 31st through Sunday, June 3rd, and is organized by the Santa Maria Elks Lodge 1538.
There will be the return of many popular attractions, such as the Minetti Mini Rodeo, Queen Contest, Beard-A-Reno, Flying Cowboys, pre-rodeo concerts, stick horse races, dances, Camp Buckaroo, western marketplace, silver dollar coin dig and much more.
There will also be a handful of new attractions, including different entertainment, and a “Diamond Dig,” where contestants will literally dig through the dirt at the Elks Unocal Events Center in search of an oversized engagement ring. The winner of the dig will be rewarded with an actual wedding ring. The rodeo will host its first cornhole competition, with proceeds going to the rodeo’s mission to help children who are battling cancer.
All rodeo events are emceed by top professional rodeo announcers. Whatever you do, don’t miss the rodeo clowns and the Elks Rodeo Parade on June 2nd at 9 a.m., where more than 200 parade entries will strut their stuff along South Broadway.
Leading up to the rodeo will be several events and competitions. The winner of the Jr. Barrelman competition will become an ambassador for the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo to help showcase the 75th anniversary edition during media appearances. The Jr. Barrelman will also have his own custom designed mini-sized barrel and will work alongside Rodeo clown and barrelman, Justin Rumford, during all of the five Mutton Bustin’ performances, including the rodeo’s kickoff event, the Minetti Mini Rodeo.
Miss Santa Maria Elks Rodeo 2018 will ride at the rodeo, in addition to representing the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo at other rodeos. She will compete for the title of Miss California Rodeo in September.
Miss Mini Rodeo, the 59th Annual Beard-A-Reno and Miss Wrangler contests will also be held in advance of the rodeo. And of course, the 2018 Elks Rodeo queen will have been crowned. The queen contest has raised and distributed nearly $12 million to local community youth recreation programs since its inception.
If you’re in the mood to cowboy up your wardrobe, special 75th anniversary merchandise will be available, including a limited-edition anniversary belt buckle, Resistol cowboy hats and baseball caps.
Coming off five years of record-breaking attendance and success, The Santa Maria Elks Rodeo is a culmination of everything that makes the Santa Maria Valley community a great one. Visitors to the Santa Maria Valley will experience a friendly, down-home community that embraces family, comradery and authenticity. Whether it’s taking time on the vine, on the hill, on the grill, on a horse or on a hill, you’ll soon figure out the roots of the area. The recipe for the way of life consists of simplicity, character, soul and a touch of spice.
Rodeo performances on Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3 will be livestreamed on the Wrangler Network.
For more information on the 75th Annual Elks Rodeo and Parade, visit www.elksrec.com.
Hit the road and explore all you can do in and around Santa Maria Valley. You’ll find it’s the perfect home base, where you can eat, drink and do more for less. The area boasts 34 tasting rooms, 6 unique AVAs, 13 beaches, and a growing selection of local breweries, all within a beautiful 30-minute drive. There is no need to venture out if you are looking for sand dunes, hiking trails, horseback riding, cycling, and authentic Santa Maria Style dining – you’ll find all that right in our backyard.
We reckon your visit will be a full of good times.