The seventh annual Little Boots Rodeo in Elk Grove Village is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 21, and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 22, at Arlington Heights Road and Devon Avenue.
Children can participate in 13 different events at this year's rodeo June 21-22, from cow milking and corn stripping, to panning for gold and riding a zip line. A punch card to participate in rodeo events is $12. The card includes a free hot dog and drink.
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Children participate in the events in a noncompetitive atmosphere. After completing all events, the children will be certified as an official cowboy or cowgirl onstage, have their name announced over the speaker and receive a certificate. The festival is put on by the Little Boots Foundation.
New activities this year include the stunt jump and the zip line. The festival also includes an extensive model train display from the LGB Model Railroad Club of Chicago.
For two hours Sunday, TV star Svengoolie will be in attendance. He has challenged Mayor Craig Johnson in a flying pig contest. In past years, Svengoolie and the mayor have competed in a mechanical bull contest and duck races.
The pigs are highly trained and "they don't get hurt in any way," promised Jack Groat, the foundation's founder and director. "The whole thing is silly fun. Everybody laughs and giggles."
Rodeo participant events also include riding a mechanical bull, participating in a shooting gallery, finding a pearl by opening an oyster, participating in a butterfly release, using a bow and arrow, and smelling the breath of a dinosaur.
Event for the general public include a petting zoo, and for $2 a person, wagon rides, pony rides and train rides. Camel rides are $3.
Trophies for Best Dressed Cowgirl and Cowboy are awarded every hour.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Elk Grove Township District 59 Education Foundation, the Elk Grove Farmers Market, and the Lion's, Lioness and Leo Clubs of Elk Grove Village.
For more information, visit littlebootsrodeo.org or call (630) 766-8980.