The Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce's 50th annual IPRA Championship Rodeo weekend got off to a rousing start Thursday evening with a Wild West-style "shootout" on Main Street in the village's downtown.
The shootout kicks off a weekend of live music, family activities and professional rodeo performances at Golden Oaks Equestrian Center, Case Road and Route 12, Wauconda.
An opening night concert Friday features "Ricky Nelson Remembered," plus performances by Jessica Rae and Bella Cain, starting at 5 p.m. Tickets purchased at the gate cost $20 for general admission and $40 for the VIP section.
The two-day rodeo, co-sponsored by Russo Power Equipment, begins at 5 p.m. Saturday, with professional rodeo performances beginning at 7 p.m. Highlights include a routine by the Midwest Renegade Equestrian Drill Team, along with six rodeo events: saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding, cowgirl barrel racing, steer roping and tie-down roping.
Derringer & Rye will perform before and after Saturday's rodeo show, and food, beverages and souvenirs will be available. More daring visitors can test their skills on a mechanical bull.
Gates open at 1 p.m. Sunday for Family Day sponsored by Palatine Oil Co. A free petting zoo, $3 pony rides, a moonwalk and mechanical bull rides are available.
From 1 to 3 p.m., the band Chuck-A-Roo will perform for kids, and the IPRA Championship resumes at 3 p.m.
General admission tickets for the rodeo are $15 for adults, $6 for children ages 5-11, and free for kids younger than 5. For more, visit www.waucondarodeo.com.