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Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Ute Stampede

Most of my dad's extended family are from Nephi, so growing up, we spent a lot of time there visiting relatives.  The Ute Stampede Rodeo and city celebration have been going on as long as I can remember and feels full of tradition.  Three parades each year- the grand parade, the livestock parade and the bathing beauties parade - and of course, the rodeo.  We haven't been to the parades for years but we try to make it to the rodeo every year.  This year Tim asked me why we drive 50 miles to this rodeo when there are several rodeos much closer if that is all we want to see.  I tried to explain to him why the tradition of The Ute Stampede feels like such a big deal, but I'm not sure that it really made sense.  Somehow, for me, it seems to bring together a lot of good memories, both recent, and very old, and I love being a part of it.  

This year we were a little smaller group than normal, but had plenty of young ones to keep us entertained.  Cory, Jarin and Jami were all out of town, but my parents said that for sure they still wanted to go and take all the kids.  Seriously, the best grandparents ever to keep making these kinds of memories.  The kids loved it and were pretty fascinated by everything going on.

This year there was one little detail that made the night not quite perfect - the weather.  Most years it is really hot and we try to get seats that are covered to keep from being in the sun.  When we got out of the car this year and saw the dark clouds....we should have known that heat was not going to be our problem. It was windy and cold for most of the night and we probably should have all dressed a little more warmly, but we still had a great time.

My favorite part of the entire rodeo is the beginning.  They have representative from each branch of the military come out, and then the flag is brought in by a parachuter.  I was worried that he would not be able to jump this year because of the wind, so I was even more excited when we saw him headed down.  I'm not sure how he kept the flag on track and landed in the arena, but it was really quite breathtaking to see.

Doesn't matter what is happening in the arena, sometimes the best entertainment is in the stands.

I only got a few shots from the actual rodeo, to catch the action, it really requires a better camera - or maybe a better photographer.  We don't know enough of the rules and specifics to give a great critique of the quality of the rodeo from a cowboy's perspective, but as far as entertainment quality, it was fantastic.

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