PREPARING FOR THE FOURTH: Community gets ready for Livingston Roundup

By: 
Dwight Harriman

Don’t freak out. The Livingston Roundup Parade really is on a Sunday this year — Sunday, July 2.

The last time that happened was 11 years ago in 2006, so you can be forgiven if it seems strange to be plotting where to plant yourself on the parade route on a Sunday afternoon.

But the oddity shouldn’t interfere with the fun. This year’s parade and rodeo promises to be as big as ever.

 

The parade

Let’s start with the parade.

Leslie Feigel, Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director, said this year’s event will feature local icon Louis Armentaro going for a Guiness World Record for 69 years of parade announcing.

The parade will also feature Gary Fish as grand marshal, Mike Gomez as Volunteer of the Year, and the O’Hair Ranch Company as Ranch Family of the Year.

“The whole O’Hair clan is going to be there … it’s going to be quite a spectacle,” Feigel laughed, with many of the family, including some grandchildren, on horseback.

Parade floats will reflect this year’s Western theme, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Each year there are from 120 to 140 parade entries, Feigel said.

Like last year, parade watchers are asked not to set chairs out before 6 a.m. on the day of the parade, which starts at 3 p.m., she said. For safety’s sake, “candy walkers” will again be used to toss treats to children, who should remain behind chalked-out lines.

Also, organizers are adding two crowd announcers to advise the crowd of what floats are coming up next.

 

The rodeo

As always, the rodeo begins at 8 p.m. each evening of the July 2-4 festivities, with fireworks following each rodeo event. Gates open at 6 each night.

Ticket sales for the rodeo arena, which can seat about 4,500, are hot. The Tuesday, July 4 night is sold out. As of late Thursday afternoon, there were about 200 general admission and 35 reserve tickets left for Sunday evening, and only 20 tickets left for Monday.

The Livingston Roundup Rodeo Association website (www.livingstonroundup.com) says tickets can no longer be purchased online. It directs buyers to Livingston’s Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply, the Spur Line, Chamber of Commerce and the Park County Fairgrounds.

New this year at the rodeo will be a giant 12-by-20-foot screen offering live coverage and instant replay, as well as a new sound system with four giant speakers on either side of the screen. 

Another new thing will be the One Armed Bandit specialty act featuring bison riding.

There are a total of 672 rodeo contestants this year. The total purse is $96,000 and the estimated payoff is $225,000.

Those who can’t get into the regular rodeo can attend slack time performances for free at 3 p.m. Saturday at the rodeo grounds.

Sunday will feature Family Night, Monday will be the cancer benefit Tough Enough to Wear Pink, and Tuesday will be Military Night.

As part of the overall festivities, the Festival of the Arts will be held Sunday through Tuesday at Depot Rotary Park. 

Topping everything off, the weather should be good — the forecast calls for mostly sunny skies for through Tuesday, with temperatures in the mid- to high 80s.

-----

Dwight Harriman may be reached at dharriman@livent.net.