This year marks the 26th year of the Ellicottville Championship Rodeo, and if you’ve never experienced a taste of the Wild West right here in Ellicottville, then it’s about time.

“There will be about 450 to 500 cowboys and cowgirls coming in this year. They come from all over the USA and Canada,” said Karen Kent, who owns and runs the rodeo with her husband, John.

The weekend event will bring in these athletes for 10 standard rodeo events, including Bareback Bronc Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Junior Bull Riding, Team Penning, Cowgirls Barrel Racing, Calf Roping, Cowgirls Breakaway Roping and Bull Riding.

The rodeo also features rodeo clowns and various other acts. According to Kent, a new addition to the 2014 lineup is a female trick riding team that is coming in from Texas to entertain the crowd. (Trick riding is when stunts are performed while riding a horse.)

The fun doesn’t end there! There is also a Kids’ Stick Horse Race, where kids age 10 and under can bring a stick horse and be part of the rodeo action. Registration is at the K-D Tack Tent, which is located right when you walk through the gate. Kids should bring their own stick horse or they can purchase one on-site.

Gates open two hours before the rodeo begins so guests can enjoy the midway that’s chock full of great food and vendors, and highlighted by a chicken barbecue.

The rodeo is located at 6319 Sommerville Valley Rd., just outside Ellicottville. Shows will be held July 3, 4 and 5 at 7 p.m. (gates open at 5 p.m.), and on July 6 at 2 p.m. (gates open at noon), with fireworks following the three evening shows.

“Rodeo is fun for the whole family and there is lots of action in the arena!” Kent said.

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 are also available at the gate the day of the shows. For pre-sale tickets or for more information, visit