THREE FORKS — It’s been two years since the Three Forks Rodeo has been able to kick up dust, but that all changed Friday night as the 75th annual Rodeo returned to town.
“Everybody’s excited," Three Forks President Casey Elmore said Friday morning. "It’s going to be full. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be one of our biggest Fridays ever. We’ve had a lot of presale tickets already - more than we’ve ever had - so it’s going to be full.”
More like sold out, to be exact. With lines stretching outside even an hour before the gates were scheduled to open, it didn’t take long to sell out every seat in the house and turn it into a standing room only.
“As a fan, we’ve been missing this for a long time," a Bozeman resident said."It's good to be back. It’s good to be back.”
“It’s so nice to see the community alive again, people out and about ready to have fun," Hillary Folkvore said. "We’re so happy it’s back.”
While everyone was excited to see some bucking broncs or steer wrestling, the hot topic surrounding this weekend’s rodeo was the new bleachers finally being put to use.
The $600,000 project was installed just weeks before COVID-19 hit last March, and without the community rallying together to raise money, the rodeo grounds wouldn’t have been able to stay afloat.
“We want to thank the whole community because it was great what they did," Elmore said. "We were able to make all of our payments last year without having pretty much any events down here at all, so yeah the community is great. We just want to thank them and hopefully, they can all come out tonight and enjoy another rodeo, and enjoy the new bleachers.”
“It’s a tight-knit community," Three Forks resident Rick Sisco said. "It’s a small town. We like to do things local if we can do them, and the rodeo grounds are obviously one of the things that glued the community together. An event like - a one a year big deal - is a nice small town event.”
“I’m just super happy to have them in here," Emore added. "I hope they enjoy the bleachers. I mean, the whole community is pretty much paying for them, so I’m just tickled to death to have it.”
The Three Forks Rodeo picks back up Saturday night with performance rounds starting at 7 p.m.