Rodeo was the draw in Fraser, Colorado. That’s pronounced ROE dee oh, for the uninitiated, not the Spanish inflected ro DAY oh. Every Saturday night during the summer, crowds gather to watch the barrel racing, calf roping, and bull riding. It was family night, the Saturday we chose, so there were also toddlers riding sheep and bigger kids trying to grab a ribbon off a calf’s tail for a prize.
With childhoods in Texas and Oklahoma, Dad and I were quite familiar with the events, but it was Boy’s first rodeo. We sat next to the families of two teen boys who were participating as one of the calf roping teams. Boy had several questions about the event and the teens’ parents were happy to chat. We cheered loudly as the boys made a good effort in the team roping, but didn’t win the prize money this time. Boy’s favorite event was the barrel racing.
The bull riding was also very exciting. We watched the bull riders trying to hang on for 8 seconds, and only one managed to last until the buzzer. Unfortunately, we also saw a rider injured when a bull stepped on him after his fall. An ambulance was required. Despite the injury, we all agreed that we preferred rodeo to bull fighting. The rodeo clowns used very similar skills to the bullfighters we watched in Spain. They waved banners, danced with the animals, demonstrated animal management, and showmanship, though in a much less bloody form.
Our second weekend event was equally old fashioned. The Fraser sports complex hosted the Colorado Vintage Baseball Association for an 1860s base ball game (yes, that is 2 words, base ball.) Following the 1860s rules and wearing civil war era uniforms, the local Winter Park-Fraser team took on the Central City Stars. We joined the cranks (1860s slang for fans) on the bleachers for an up close view, enhanced by popcorn, of course. The Winter Park-Fraser team won the match.