|Photo by Phil Doyle Photography|
I know what you're thinking, A Cow Palace in San Francisco? - but really, it's true! Never before did I think I would attend a rodeo in San Francisco, nor did I think people would actually attend, but the cowboys and vaqueros came out in drones... well maybe not in drones, but at least enough to halfway fill the stadium.
We bought our tickets for half price on Groupon, and it was good that we did. As you can tell, our section was overflowing! Actually, we were pretty much alone. Since we're in San Francisco and not the country, a lot of people don't really attend the rodeo. There were even protesters outside of the Cow Palace that were talking about animal cruelty (made us feel slightly guilty). But the rodeo was great. Caitlin and I rode steers in the rodeo while we were at BYU-Idaho, and it is a crazy rush of adrenaline.
This rodeo was no less of an adrenaline rush. There was bull riding, barrel racing, calf roping, and more. Growing up in Oregon lent me plenty of opportunities to see rodeos, but I never get tired of the amazing feats of daring from the men and women who compete.
We also really love the patriotism of the rodeo. My friends know that I'm not the most patriotic US citizen. Not that I hate the US, but I know we're not the best country in the world, and I actually think there is a lot we can learn from many of the other countries we deem "underdeveloped". With that being said, I really love seeing true acts of patriotism where we celebrate being members of one community with one common bond. The riders did an exceptional job during the Grand Entry of bringing in a spirit of patriotism and helping us enjoy the sentiment that prevails at every rodeo. During intermission there was a trick rider who did a few skits with his horse and read a poem about how great the US is. It is all very patriotic and garners a sense of pride that I have never felt in another country (and maybe because I don't quite understand the customs of other countries to the same level I do with our US customs).
The rodeo lasted for about 2 hours, which was the perfect amount of time to enjoy a rodeo and not get bored. The rodeo clown was hilarious and kept us entertained between events, and the girl who sang the national anthem was phenomenal. Really, she was an amazing talent. I wish everyone in the city would have come to the rodeo with an open mind in order to experience this type of event and see how amazing the cowboys are that participate. Next year I'll have to get Caitlin a cowboy hat since she has been begging me for years. Maybe if she put it on her Christmas list my dad would fulfill her request.