OTHELLO — The Othello Rodeo kicks up its heels Friday and Saturday night in the arena on the Adams County Fairgrounds.
The popular event, which dates back to 1948, started out as an amateur competition and evolved into a stop on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit beginning in 1962.
During the summer of ’48, Cliff Michel built the first arena on the site where Hiawatha Elementary school now sits. The rodeo, which was birthed as a fall celebration in Othello, saw 56 cowboys enter seven different events for a total purse of $500.
One of its original competitors, Dean Oliver, who took third place in the 1951 calf roping event, went on to win World Championships in calf roping in 1960, ’61 and ’62.
This year’s purse will be upwards of $18,000, according to Rebecca Wolfs of the Othello Rodeo Association.
The 2017 Othello Rodeo Queen is 17-year-old Mykiah Hollenbeck, daughter of Ryan and Vicki Hollenbeck. She is currently a senior at Othello High School, a member of the Washington High School Equestrian Team, and attending Running Start at Washington State University Tri-Cities. Mykiah shows horses and sheep in 4-H and FFA events and is the current president of the Othello FFA chapter. She plans on attending Washington State University in Pullman after graduation, majoring in agriculture technology and management, and animal science.
Tickets for the rodeo, which gets underway Friday at 8 p.m., are $15 for adults and $10 for kids 6-12 years old. Children under 6 get in free. All rodeo tickets on Saturday are $15.