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Cherokee PRCA Rodeo: A 50 Year Tradition
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Cherokee PRCA Rodeo: A 50 Year Tradition

Celebrate 50 years of tradition at the Cherokee PRCA Rodeo, June 2-4.

The annual event is held the first weekend after Memorial Day, and serves as the kick-off to summer.

The story of the Cherokee Rodeo actually dates back to the 1940’s, when Bob Barnes and his sister Marjorie began breaking horses for neighbors in Cherokee County.  Barnes soon purchased his own horses and staged his first rodeo in 1950 in a cow pasture north of Cherokee. The Barnes PRCA Rodeo Company continued to grow; becoming the nation’s longest running professional rodeo company.

In 1966, Barnes approached the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce to sponsor the rodeo in his hometown, a partnership that continues today.

Fifty years later, the Cherokee PRCA Rodeo has grown into the largest community event in Cherokee, drawing over 5,000 spectators for the three-day rodeo. Not only does the event draw an audience from Iowa and surrounding states, but it has an excellent reputation among the participants. In 2015, the Cherokee PRCA Rodeo drew contestants from 26 states to compete.

This year’s rodeo includes three nightly performances, with different contestants each night. Western venders, pony rides, a petting zoo, concession stands and a beverage garden are available all three nights.

Thursday, June 2 is Family Night:

All kids 12 and under are admitted to the rodeo free when accompanied by a paid adult. When the gates open at 5:00 PM, families can enjoy free pony rides a petting zoo and kid’s games. A kid’s Rodeo begins at 6:30 PM with Mutton Bustin’ and a Rabbit Catch. The rodeo performance begins at 7:30 PM.

Friday, June 3 is Ladies Night:

The first 500 ladies in the gate will receive a free souvenir beverage cup. A kid’s Rodeo begins at 6:30 PM with Mutton Bustin’ and a Rabbit Catch and the rodeo performance begins at 7:30 PM.  Stick around after the rodeo to hear the J Clyde Band perform.  Admission to the band is included with your rodeo ticket.

Saturday, June 4 is a full day of Rodeo Fun:

Starting with the Cherokee Stampede at 9:00 AM.  This 5K Fun Run/Walk is open to people of all ages. Enjoy a Western BBQ at the train Depot from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM.  The Western Iowa Border Agents will entertain you with a train robbery reenactment at 12:15. You won’t want to miss the Rodeo Parade, starting at 4:00 PM.

Gates open following the parade with the final Rodeo Performance beginning at 7:30 PM.  Following the rodeo, enjoy the fabulous fireworks display and end the evening with the band Riata.  Admission to the band is included with your rodeo ticket.

The rodeo is held on the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, located on the south edge of Cherokee. For ticket prices and complete schedules, visit

As they say in Cherokee-- Let our family tradition become yours, at the 50th Annual Cherokee PRCA Rodeo, June 2-4, 2016.

Leave a Comment

  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    What an absolutely fantastic family event for summer! Thanks for contributing to the Travel Iowa blog!
    Log in to reply.


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