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War Bonnet Round Up kicks off tonight with free event in Idaho Falls


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IDAHO FALLS — Idaho’s oldest rodeo is kicking off with a party and a shootout.

The 108th War Bonnet Round Up starts Wednesday night and will run all the way through Saturday. The kickoff starts at 5 p.m. in downtown Idaho Falls and is free for everyone. Thursday is family night, Friday is ‘tough enough to wear pink night’ and Saturday is the ‘salute to the veterans night.’

“We’ve got some really neat things that are happening. Some new things that you haven’t seen before at the War Bonnet. Come out and take advantage of this historical moment at the War Bonnet Round Up,” War Bonnet Round Up Board of Directors Chairman Dennis Miller said.

One of the newest events in the rodeo world, Women’s Breakaway Roping, is coming to the War Bonnet Round Up for the first time ever.

“This is one of the best rodeos in the country. And having this be kind of our step-up to many rodeos in the country … is a huge, huge opportunity for us to be a part of,” Women’s Breakaway Roping Association representative and Idaho State University rodeo coach Kindee Wilson said.

Also, new this year are changes to the Sandy Downs Rodeo Grounds.

“We’ve strategically located our bucking chutes directly in front of the stands,” Miller said. “Another thing that’s happened is the seating. We’ve got the new metal seating. We’ve got the back seating in the grandstands. We’ve also tried to a larger seating compacity.”

This year’s rodeo features a number of top-ranked contestants in every professional event.

“I’m excited about the number of professional cowboys and cowgirls that have made the choice to participate in our rodeo here in Idaho Falls. A great number of these cowboys are national champions or competed in the national finals championship in the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada. And we have a lot of newcomers,” Miller said. “There’s going to be something for everybody.”