The rodeo is returning to area

A rodeo clown tries to distract a Brahma bull as the rider tries to get away from the fray. Riggin Dailey in team roping is shown. (Photo courtsey of Kim Walker)

CAROGA — For the first time in 17 years, the Paradise Ranch rodeo will make its way back to Caroga.

The rodeo will take place on Friday, Aug. 10 and Aug. 24 at 8 p.m. The cost will be $10 per person, $5 for ages 7 to 12 and free for children younger than 7.

The rodeo will feature bull riding, barrel racing, break-away roping, sheep riding, dollar catch, chute dogging and a banana eating contest.

Kim Walker, who along with other family members, helps her father, Lester Walker, run the rodeo said there will be several vendors, one example being paparazzi jewelry. She said her family’s food truck, Something Different will also be at the rodeo serving a variety of foods such as chicken in a cone. Live music will be performed by the country rock band, Fast4Ward.

Kim said the most exciting part is they will be bringing back original bull riders such as Grant Tuttle and Will Merithew.

Sheep riding at a previous rodeo is shown. (Photo courtsey of Kim Walker)

“It’s exciting to bring everyone back together because it’s been 17 years,” Kim Walker said. “It’s just a good fun place and all about family.”

For the past few weeks, Lester, who will be 85 this year and has been in the rodeo business for 60 years, has been working along with the help of family and friends to put up the arena since they dismantled the original.

Kim said Friday they were in the process of assembling the bleachers.

“We’re starting from the ground up,” Kim said. “We couldn’t have done this without the help of friends and family.”

She also thanked the 21 sponsors they have so far for the rodeo.

Bull riding at a rodeo in the 90s is shown. (Photo courtesy of Kim Walker)

Kim said her entire family is involved in rodeos. Her son, Riggin Dailey, is a team roper and her nephew is a bull rider.

Since the rodeo is family-run, Kim said, “all the grandkids will hopefully continue the tradition.”

In 2001, Lester decided to move the rodeo to Sprakers because he thought it would be easier since he lived in Sprakers and that is where the stock was.

Kim said for 16 years they leased their bulls to Double M in Ballston Spa. She said they are not leasing with Double M anymore, so they thought it would be good to bring it back to Caroga.

“Since Caroga Lake has always been bigger and better, we decided to move back to Caroga,” Kim said. “Also the reason for coming back to Caroga Lake is because we have always been a place of opportunity, a place for a start, hence the home of the cowboys.”