rodeoBy Alicia Dziak

Fourth of July weekend is a busy time in Ellicottville. Besides the hustle and bustle of the village activities, visitors and residents alike can enjoy the Ellicottville Championship Rodeo, located at 6319 Somerville St., where the Rodeo Team says, “the road ends and the West begins.”

The rodeo is celebrating its 25th year bringing the Wild West to the Enchanted Mountains.

“When I was a kid, I always wanted to ride in rodeo events, but I wasn’t allowed to,” said John Kent, founder of the Ellicottville Championship Rodeo. “So when I was old enough, I enlisted the help from my friends in the stable business and started up the rodeo.”

“This is the biggest rodeo event in the Northeast,” continued Kent. “We’re expecting over 500 cowboys, coming from everywhere from Canada to Texas and Oklahoma.”

The weekend event will bring in these athletes for nine standard rodeo events, including bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, team roping, team penning, junior bull riding, steer wrestling, girls’ barrel racing and big-bull riding.

The event also features a rodeo clown, and in the spirit of the holiday weekend, there will be fireworks after the Thursday, Friday and Saturday night shows.

The fun doesn’t end there! There is also a kids’ stick horse race, where kids 10 and under can bring a stick horse and be part of the rodeo action. Stick horses are also available for purchase at the Rodeo Tack Shop. Registration for this event takes place before the rodeo.

“The kids’ stick horse race is a real crowd pleaser,” said Kent.

Gates open two hours before the rodeo begins so guests can enjoy the midway, full of great food that includes a chicken barbecue.

“We’re expecting the 25th year to be our biggest one yet,” Kent said. “Our team has worked hard again this year to bring this great family tradition back to Ellicottville.”

This unique event takes place on July 4, 5 and 6 at 7 p.m., and on July 7 at 2 p.m. Admission is $17 for adults, $9 for children ages 12 and under, and free for children under age 5. Pre-sale tickets are available until June 30, and tickets will also be available at the gate the day of the shows.

For pre-sale tickets and for more information, visit