BY SUSAN VAN CLEAF
Hamel Rodeo weekend is a coming July 5 to 8 to the Corcoran/Medina area hot on the heels of 4th of July events. Numerous community events will be sprinkled amidst the rodeo performances.
The first performance of the Hamel Rodeo is always the first Thursday in July at Corcoran Lions Park, located at County Roads 10 and 101 in Corcoran. This year is no exception, with cowboys and gals hopping into saddles at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 5. Proceeds from the first night, "Tough Enough for Pink Night," will benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
The Hamel Rodeo itself will offer performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 5 through Sunday, July 8. A 1 p.m. matinee will take place on Family Day, Saturday, July 7.
All tickets during afternoon Family Day events will cost $7. Otherwise, general admission tickets at the gate will cost $14 for adults and $8 for children, ages four through 12. For preferred seating, add $2 to each ticket price. Save money by purchasing tickets in advance at hamelrodeo.org, Farmers State Bank of Hamel and Pleasant Hills Saddle Shops.
Other rodeo weekend events will include rodeo dances Friday and Saturday at Inn Kahoots on Hamel Road. Admission will be free with purchase of a rodeo button.
Saturday afternoon will bring Family Day events to the rodeo in addition to matinee rodeo performance. Activities for youth and families will include a Kids Calf Scramble and Stick Horse Races. Medina Police will host their annual safety day at which children will be fingerprinted for free. Police cars, fire trucks and police dogs will be on hand for viewing.
Highlights for Sunday will be the Hamel Lions flea market from 6 a.m. to noon in the parking lot at the Medina Entertainment Center, 500 Highway 55. The MEC will offer a Sunday rodeo brunch.
Another Sunday highlight will be the 2 p.m. Hamel Rodeo parade on Hamel Road in uptown Hamel. Floor Technology, a family owned and operated business located on Hamel Road, will serve as grand marshals. This year Floor Technology is celebrating its 40th year in business in the Hamel area. The company’s state of the art truck will spearhead the parade. (See story on the parade and its grand marshals in next week’s newspaper).
The biggest rodeo in Minnesota, the Hamel Rodeo is an official Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event. Hundreds of competitors will vie for thousands of dollars in prize money.
A unique competitor will be Maggie Parker, who at age 19, will be the only woman participating in bull riding events. She will vie against 63 male bull riders. Her turn to ride will come at the 7:30 p.m. performance on Saturday, July 7.
The Hamel Rodeo is planned and operated by volunteers from six community groups. They are the Hamel Volunteer Fire Department, the Hamel Athletic Club, the I-94 West Chamber of Commerce, the Heinzen-Ditter VFW, the Hamel Lions, and the John Pohlker American Legion Post. Each year, after rodeo bills are paid, the profits are split evenly amongst the groups.