HERRIMAN Fans of bull riding, mutton busting, calf roping and, heck, even stick-horse racing will be in rodeo heaven when one of the first local cowboy events of the summer season kicks off here next week as part of Fort Herriman Days.
The town's annual celebration will be held from Thursday through Saturday and will continue the following weekend, June 24-25, with a wide variety of activities and entertainment, including a baseball tournament, a mouth-watering dutch-oven cook-off, carnival rides, fireworks shows and good-old-fashioned cowboy competition.
Herriman started the junior rodeo at the park in 1999. The idea was to bring people to the new equestrian park, which came about in part thanks to Wayne Butterfield's donation of 60 acres of property there. W&M Butterfield Park is located at 6212 W. 14200 South in Herriman.
"We wanted to get people excited about it," said Danie Bills, an event organizer who works in Herriman's Park and Recreation Department. "Now it's developed into a three-day rodeo. It's all for fun, but there's still some pretty good competition."
The highlight for many is watching youth 17-and-under compete in the junior rodeo. This event, which begins Thursday at 4 p.m., features competitions such as barrels, poles, goat tying, breakaway, calf roping, team roping, steer riding, hide race, stick horse and the money calf. For the stick-horse race, kids only have to be "big enough to walk" to try it, Bills said. In the money calf event, a calf is covered with mud and dollar bills and little kids chase it around to try to snag some of the mucky moolah.
Mutton busters are as young as 4 years old, and the competitors are divided into three age groups: 8-and-under, 9-13 and 14-17.
"It's very successful," she said. "Kids always have a good time."
The big kids get to play around in the adult rodeo on Friday and Saturday. Now in its third year, the Herriman Rodeo is an Intermountain Professional Rodeo Association competition. It's put on by the Circle J Championship Series, and that company provides the stock. Volunteers and city employees help run the show.
The IMPRA pro rodeo cowboys will compete in the ever-popular bull riding, saddle bronc, bareback, steer wrestling, team roping, calf roping, barrels and breakaway. Cowboys are expected to come from Utah, Idaho and several other states.
The rodeo begins both Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night's events will be followed by a fireworks show. The rodeo has been such a success, Herriman had to expand its seating capacity by 900 to accommodate spectators. The rodeo stadium now holds about 2,000.
The city puts on the rodeo and festivities, Bills said, as a service to residents of Herriman and neighboring communities. She said organizers want people "to have a good time and not have to pay a lot of money to enjoy a night of good entertainment."
A Triple Crown baseball tournament will also take place from Thursday through Saturday at the town's ballparks down the road. A Health & Safety Fair will also go on from noon until 5 p.m.
Herriman's party will continue on June 24-25, with a Dutch Oven cook-off on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and entertainment by the Farley Family Reunion at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, June 25, the town will host a Step Rock Run, with both 5K and 10K races, and a one-mile fun run/walk at 7 a.m. The town parade starts at 9 a.m. and park activities entertainment, booths, games, rides and food begin at 10 a.m. The celebration will conclude with a second fireworks show that night.Information is available online at www.herriman.org or by calling the city at 446-5323.