UP Championship Rodeo is back in Iron River

 Kids ride stuffed animal horses at Family Fun Time event
Kids ride stuffed animal horses at Family Fun Time event (WLUC)
Published: Jul. 17, 2019 at 6:44 PM EDT
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Music, games and fun were what filled Family Fun Time Wednesday but this event was just the start of the U.P. Rodeo Championship.

"Rodeo Weekend is probably one of the biggest economical advances, here in this town for a small community,” said U.P. Championship Rodeo Board Vice President, Sari Jacobson.

This is Michigan’s only Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association sanctioned pro-rodeo.

Starting Thursday at 8 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce in downtown Iron River there will be the kick-off event with music, concessions and even a mechanical bull.

Friday morning is market days on Genesee Street. There will be vendors, and interviews for the U.P. Rodeo Queen and Princess.

"If you're coming to this for the first time expect to be entertained, expect the thrills, expect the fun,” said Jacobson.

Jacobson says being a part of such a big event is so special.

"I have been a part of the rodeo since I was a little girl, yodeling with my grandparents. Oh yes I yodel! So I've been a part of this for so many years, so I'm almost carrying on that legacy."

The Family Fun event was held at the Windsor Center from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday and hosted by Aspirus Hospital and Clinic, just one of the many sponsors for the weekend.

"I think that a hospital is more than just responsible for just the health of its patients. I think it's important for the health of our community as well, and this is one of the opportunities that we can do that for our community,” said Aspirus Iron Area Health Foundation Director, Peg James.

There was face painting and horse riding for kids. Participants could even try to rope a cattle.

The day was filled with pre-rodeo fun, but there is still lots more to come. Gates for the rodeo open at 5 p.m. on Friday night and noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday for performances.

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