Gay Rodeo returns to Utah

Drag Racing on Steers and Undies on Goats? You will find this and more at the Crossroads Of The West Regional Rodeo.

Giddy up for the return of the Utah Gay Rodeo on June 17th and 18th at the Golden Spike Arena in Ogden, Utah, which promises to showcase more than the typical Western traditions.

“It’s a big party. It’s a big festival,” says Raeann Grow, president of the Utah Gay Rodeo Association. She describes it as “country lifestyle, with a flare and a live rodeo at the same time.”

There will be 13 events, such as bull riding, steer riding, calf roping, pole bending, team roping, and others that rodeo fans will recognize. But this rodeo also features three “camp” events: goat dressing, steer decorating and a wild drag race.

Each of the categories uses a two- or three-person team.

“In goat dressing,” Grow explains, “the team has a certain timeframe to run, get their goat, and put a pair of underpants on it. It’s literally people putting underwear on goats,” she states.

Steer decorating involves putting a ribbon on a steer’s tail, and in the wild drag race, one person on the team is dressed in drag and must get on the steer and ride it to the finish line.

“All the other events are standard events as you’d see at any other professional rodeo,” Raeann says, “and include competitors who are gay, straight, and transgender. Everyone’s welcome to compete, and everybody’s welcome to attend.”

All activities are family-friendly. Grow says nothing is above a PG rating. The rodeo events are in the arena, and county fair-style games and entertainment will take place on the grass outside the arena called the Courtyard from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Inside the arena, vendors will sell everything from blankets and Western hats to T-shirts, candles, and more. Food and alcohol are available on-site as well, and UGRA will hold a Silent Auction to help raise money for charity and future events.

Throughout the weekend, there will be entertainment in the Golden Spike Arena Courtyard.

Saturday night, June 17, there will be a special performance by past and present International Gay Rodeo Association Royalty from various parts of the country.

Utah’s own Rodeo Queen, Ari Versace Stephens, will be headlining the night.

Admission to the rodeo is $15 each day, and entertainment in the Courtyard is free. For more information and tickets, visit the UGRA website utahgayrodeo.com or the Golden Spike Arena website goldenspikeeventcenter.com.

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