It is the 140th annual Mandan Rodeo Celebration. While this three-day event might sound like something just for men, local rodeo queens are letting it be known it’s for everyone.
Miller Elementary student, Christine Cunningham says, “It makes me feel like girls can do anything that men can.”
This week rodeo queens and princesses from all over the state, visited schools in the area to show children what the rodeo is all about.
“It’s something that you are putting out there that not only men can do this, but women can also do this. So it’s definitely taking a stand for something and I know a lot of little girls look up to us for that,” says Miss Rodeo Mandan Eva Vangsness.
Six of the rodeo queens taught local elementary students how to rope, barrel race, and much more.
“It was really fun and exciting and I loved helping them experience some of the things they do at the rodeo,” says Cunningham.
Student Garin Dykema talks about his favorite part, “Being the bull because I got to chase a kid and I was right on his tail each time.”
Although the kids had a great time, they also learned some valuable lessons.
“The most important thing is horse care because we don’t want too lame a horse, and it’s just very important to keep our horses healthy,” says Miss Rodeo Mandan Princess, Sheridan Bubel.
The Rodeo queens tell KX many of the children don’t know a lot about the rodeo, which is what makes this experience so memorable for them.
“It’s really fun to educate them about what’s at the rodeo or how the rodeo performs,” says Vangsness. “So it’s definitely interesting when we go to these things and the little kiddos ask a bunch of questions.”
And it’s more than teaching kids how to lasso a rope or catch a bull.
“What I really wanted to do when I ran for Mandan was to encourage others and not only to be themselves but to push others to where they could succeed in life,” Vangsness adds.
And that message definitely hit home.
“I’m hoping I can be a rodeo queen some day,” says Cunningham.
The Rodeo queens also made a special stop at Sanford Hospital. You can even catch them at the fair today in Mandan.