It's time to git on yer horse and drink yer milk—at least until the bronco throws you mercilessly to the ground. If your only experience of rodeo is a drunken attempt on Dirty Little Roddy's mechanical bull, saddle up and head to Nampa's Idaho Center to witness the real thing, as the Snake River Stampede returns for its 98th year of hurling professional cowboys into the dust.
The Stampede evolved from its roots as a local buck show around Horseshoe Bend to become one of the premier rodeo events in the country, boasting a $400,000 payoff. It regularly attracts world champions to pit their roping and riding skills against bulls, steers, saddled and bareback broncs, and other angry beasts of burden. Other rodeo events include steer wrestling, barrel racing and team and tie-down roping. Even the kids can get involved with junior events like the calf scramble or mutton busting.
Rodeo week kicks off Saturday, July 13, with a parade through Nampa beginning at 11 a.m. Get up early for the Buck-A-Roo Breakfast from 7-10 a.m. Monday, July 15, and Tuesday, July 16, for $5 per person.
Rodeo action gets going Tuesday, July 16, and continues through Saturday, July 20, with nightly shows beginning at 7:30 p.m., as well as a noon matinee on Saturday.