GREAT FALLS — The Pro Rodeo and Cowboy Association (PRCA) is back at Montana ExpoPark with the Big Sky Pro Rodeo Roundup happening this week.
Due to COVID-19, the popular rodeo and Montana State Fair didn’t occur in 2020. However with the return of both this year, it promises to be what it used to be: a celebration for all.
“It’s a celebration. It’s a celebration of rodeo. It’s a celebration of agriculture. It’s a celebration of America and it’s right where we ought to be,” longtime rodeo announcer Will Rasmussen said.
The rodeo attracts competitors in a variety of events. Being a PRCA event, the results of this rodeo play a factor into the standings and earnings needed to compete at the Wrangler Nationals Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas at the end of the year. Because of this, the talent level is vast.
“The roster of rodeo talent that will filter through here the next week or so is unbelievable,” Rasmussen explained. “It’s smattered throughout the four performances of rodeo so it’s going to be good.”
For Rasmussen, the livelihood of the beloved cowboy announcer was shaken up by the rodeo closures during the pandemic. The Choteau native had to endure to make it through the tough times. Now, he’s just happy to be back enjoying the simple, beautiful traditions that make a day at the rodeo special to him.
“Cowboys, you know we stand for the anthem, we sing for the anthem, we pray without apology then we go out and have a world class event and that’s what I love most about rodeo and announcing,” he said.
The rodeo is slated for four days of events starting Wednesday, Aug. 4 and finishing up on Saturday, Aug. 7.