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Boots, Chaps, and Cowboy Hats

The Eureka Rodeo is back for another rip-roaring summer

It’s higher up here than you thought it would be. Below you, the bull is warm and tense–just waiting for the gate to fly open and the time to start. You know he will do his damndest to get you off of his back and maybe spear a couple of the rodeo clowns with his horns. 

It’s time. The gate clangs open and the bull is free. You cling to the rope for dear life and he explodes up and out, rocking back and forth and spinning round and round.

And then you’re on the ground, staring up at the ceiling lights of a bar, your little fantasy over as the mechanical bull winds down and the DJ pokes fun at you for the crowd.

Sure, the mechanical bull can be a fun one-to-eight seconds, but it will never compare to the real thing. For most of us, that mechanical bull is the closest we’ll ever get to riding a real, deadly beast. For rodeo cowboys, however, that real live bull is all in a day’s work. And you can see them in action right here in the Tobacco Valley.

The Real Deal

This year, Eureka Rodeo runs from Friday, July 26th through Saturday, July 27th. If you’re passionate about bull riding specifically, you can also check out The Bull Thing on Saturday, August 24th. The Professional Bull Rider’s Association stopped at our rodeo grounds last year and we can’t wait to see them again!

Rodeos are not just bulls, though. Those dusty arenas see horses, calves, sheep, and more. From watching a cowboy on a bucking bronco to holding your breath as a horse and rider round a barrel, the rodeo is always full of adrenaline-pumping action.

Many of the events are centered around time–either enduring a challenge the longest (like staying on a bucking bronco for eight seconds) or beating someone else’s quick work (trying to wrestle a steer to the ground faster than your competitors, for example). From there, the events tend to focus on skill, physical prowess, or a mix of the two. It takes muscle to rope a cow, but it takes skill to loop it on the first throw.

Get Involved

You don’t have to stay on the sidelines, either. For the adults, past Tobacco Rodeos have featured adult see-saws made from steel beams, complete with an angry bull who will try to knock you off of that small seat. 

Even kids can get in on the action. Mutton busting is an ever-popular event. Similar to bull riding, younguns grab onto sheep and see how long they can hold on as the wooly fiend dashes around in the dust. It’s exciting, it’s cute, it’s rodeo.

The Eureka Rodeo’s second day coincides with the National Day of the Cowboy, a day set aside to honor and celebrate the heritage and traditions of the American Cowboy way of life. There are very few better ways to observe the National Day of the Cowboy than attending a rodeo.

It’s those rodeos that have brought us together summer after summer. We watch as hardworking folks test their skills and their guts in front of the roaring crowds, celebrating the centuries of technique and history that go into each event. This tradition of dust, leather, and stock reminds us of where we Montanans come from and continues to bring us together. 

Tickets go on sale soon on the Tobacco Valley Rodeo website ( or at the gate.