Pack a picnic basket, grab a lawn chair and head south on State Avenue for an evening of entertainment. The Rodeo Club hosts a summer series of biweekly barrel racing competitions, with three Wednesdays left on the schedule: July 26, Aug. 9 and Aug. 23.
Club president Emma Grotting said the event draws competitors from around Iowa and neighboring states. Entrants on horseback run a cloverleaf path around barrels, striving for the quickest time. This is the first year for the summer series.
"The athletes who typically compete in barrel racing are women. However, men are welcome to enter," Grotting said. "There will be horses of different shapes, sizes, breeds and genders. The most common breed used for barrel racing is the American quarter horse."
Warmups begin at 5:30 p.m., with competition starting at 7:30 p.m. Contestants of all ages can enter, including youth (18 and younger). Top performers win cash prizes. Additional proceeds from the entry fees support club activities. The races, determined by the number of entries, generally continue until about 9 p.m.
There is no cost for spectators, but a blanket or chair is recommended (no grandstands are available). The rodeo arena is located on State Avenue, about 1.5 miles south of Highway 30.