◊photo/ Mike Pierce
60th Annual Red Ryder Roundup
July 2, 3 and 4
Dance • Carnival • Arts & Crafts Fair Parade • Fireworks

Pagosa Springs will be bursting at the seams July 2-4 when it hosts the 60th annual Red Ryder Roundup, an event that draws spectators from around the state, the region and the world.

There is no question, the Red Ryder Roundup is “The Event” in Pagosa Springs and the longest-standing community event of the summer. During the roundup, the town is packed, fun is in the air and there is plenty of activity for everyone in the family.

The rodeo is named after the famous comic strip character, Red Ryder, the illustration of noted Western artist Fred Harman. A native of Pagosa Country, Harman used his experiences as a working cowboy as the basis for his paintings. Though he had no formal training as an artist, Harman’s oil paintings are known and valued worldwide. Harman was an avid supporter of the Red Ryder Roundup from its inception.

The rodeo takes place at the Red Ryder Roundup Arena, located at U.S. 84 and Mill Creek Road just south of the “Y” on the east side of Pagosa Springs. The covered bleachers and grandstand provide a shaded setting for spectators to cheer the action while enjoying the breathtaking panorama of the San Juan Mountains to the east and north — come early, seating is limited.

On July 2, the Red Ryder Roundup kicks into high gear with bareback and saddle bronc riding, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping, “Scrambled Egg” team roping, girls’ breakaway roping, barrel racing, barrel racing for competitors ages 14-and-under, and the always-popular, mutton busting for the youngsters. Rodeo organizers expect a full roster of bull riders at the rodeo. The first rodeo is July 2, followed by a second rodeo July 3. The July 2 and 3 rodeos are scheduled for 6 p.m., while the July 4 rodeo is scheduled for 2 p.m.

For box seat tickets, call Pagosa Land Company, at 264-5000. Pre-sale tickets cost $10 for adults and $6 for children and are available at Goodman’s Department Store and the Chamber of Commerce downtown. Tickets will also be available at the gate — come to the Red Ryder Roundup and see rodeo the way it was meant to be.

But if rodeo is not your thing, there’s still plenty of ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in Pagosa Springs. Throughout the weekend, visitors can enjoy an arts and crafts fair, a carnival, and of course, the annual Independence Day parade sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club. The parade begins 10 a.m. July 4, and paradegoers will enjoy color guards, grand marshals, rodeo royalty and a wide variety of parade entries marching and riding through downtown Pagosa Springs. For those who choose to spend the day, a spectacular fireworks show in downtown Pagosa Springs will cap off the Fourth of July celebration.