WESTCLIFFE — For the last 77 years, the Wet Mountain Valley Saddle Club has been putting on the Westcliffe Stampede Rodeo. This year, the group is expecting 5,000 people to come to town and is excited about the impact it will have on Westcliffe.
"So this is not just what I would call a community, this is a family," said Ron Beckner, a director of the Wet Mountain Valley Saddle Club.
Julie Lotesto-Smith says the community looks forward to this event every year.
"As you can imagine, the commerce that brings into our small community is pretty incredible. Now I don't know dollars and cents, but I can tell you these places are packed. And that only happens twice a year, the Bluegrass Festival and our Rodeo," says Lotesto-Smith.
This year, the rodeo committee is adding 1,000 new seats for the venue, as well as high visibility lighting. That lighting had some community members concerned because of the town's "Dark Sky Community" status.
"The beautiful thing about collaborating with Dark Skies is we have the same objective," said Lotesto-Smith.
The Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley work to reduce light pollution in the area. Rodeo officials say that they've gotten a temporary variance for the rodeo.
"During the rodeo, we're going to have an expert here who will be doing the photometric measurements for us, and the Dark Skies folks will also be doing photometric measurements," said Lotesto-Smith.
"You're gonna have all your regular rode events that you'd see at a rodeo, plus we're going to have mutton busting for the kids, stick horse races, we got mini broncs coming," said another director of the Wet Mountain Valley Saddle Club Scott Camper.
The rodeo activities will start on July 13th and finish on the 15th. For tickets, you can click here.
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