Prep work begins for 65th Coarsegold Rodeo after organizer switch

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The family that owns the rodeo grounds decided to keep the tradition going after the previous non-profit announced it would not put on the annual event. (KFSN)

Crews are breaking in the new dirt for the Coarsegold Rodeo Friday, but the riding and roping almost didn't happen at the arena this year.

"The decision to keep it going was, I believe, definitely the right decision," said Tanner Tweed, who is the Coarsegold Rodeo organizer. "This community wants this rodeo. It's had it for a long time and it wants to see it going."

Tweed runs the Coarsegold Rodeo. His family owns the grounds and decided to keep the tradition going after the previous non-profit announced it would not put on the annual event.

Coarsegold chamber president Diane Boland said that group will now put on "Gold Rush Days" at the village that same weekend.

"I see nothing but benefit for the town," she said. "I think if you have something going on here, every restaurant in town will do well. The grocery store will pick up a little business, and the rodeo grounds will do spectacular since they've done all the remodeling."

Since deciding to take on the rodeo, Tweed and volunteers have been working around the clock at the arena and the entire grounds.

"We'll have a fully functioning bathroom, we're doing a complete remodel of our arena new bucking chutes, new announcer booths, new panels instead of the chain link fence," he exclaimed. "We're working on the dirt, we're bringing in new sand."

As far as the actual event, organizers say cowboys and cowgirls will take center stage, but their goal is to provide entertainment for the whole family.

"We're going to have petting zoos, food booths, lots of activities for kids, we're going to have a dance, a live band," Tweed said. "It'll be something everybody of every age can enjoy."

Grounds manager Chloe Ferguson has been coming to the rodeo since she was small. She says they'll be opening up the rodeo to school children for a special day.

"We're doing everything bigger this year so our heritage days is going to go from 500 kids to hopefully 800 kids," she said.

Tweed says this rodeo provides a unique view of the action and scenery.

"The scenery is amazing, I mean we have snow-capped mountains and we're out in the country, not in the city," he said. "So if you're in Clovis or Fresno, this is a great way to come up and get a breath of fresh air and get out of the city."

It's a mountain tradition that will now celebrate its 65th year with a new chapter.

This year's event will benefit the Coarsegold Community Center. The Coarsegold Rodeo runs May 6 and 7.

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