Last weekend's events at A.C. Dysart Park in Banning were about having fun and raising money for charity.
The Bud Light Hot Rodeo ,in association with the greater Palm Springs Chapter of the Golden State Gay Rodeo Association, returned to the Pass after a seven-year hiatus. Glen Dickard credits Tony Nicholson, the Rodeo director, and Randy Clark, the chapter vice president of rodeo operations, for making his dream to see the rodeo return come to a reality.
Dickard said, “The City of Banning has been great.” There were never any problems with the city, or what we were planning … they were friendly and helpful.
The two-day event held on May 3rd and 4th was to benefit the Desert Women for Equality's “We Care Program.” The program offers free mammograms to the medically uninsured or the underinsured.
This event is not like any other rodeo. It is for fun, entertainment and charity. There are many serious rodeo events - calf roping, team roping pole bending and bull riding, among others. The prizes and awards were real, but not sizable, because the organizer wanted the charity to receive most of the funds. This rodeo is all about the charity and not seeing any of the participants get hurt. The bull-riding event was still thrilling as you witness a rider nearly stomped on by the bucking bull that just threw him. Yet, the bulls were just a bit milder than you might see at another rodeo.
There is a bit of difference to this rodeo, as you watch the lovely drag cheerleaders shake their pom-poms. Along with the jean clad cheerleaders they kept the crowd hooting and a hollering. Perhaps the goat dressing race, where the team complete at putting a pair of briefs on the back end of a not so willing to accommodate goat, is not what you see at every other rodeo. Wait until you witness the exuberance of the wild drag race; it is just that, wild.
One solemn event that took place during the Hot Rodeo was the Rider-less Horse Ceremony, in which boots were reversed in the stirrups, the hat was put on the seat of the saddle with red, pink and white roses adorning it - all in honor and memory for those no longer with us.
For more information on the Rodeo visit PalmSpringsRodeo.org