Penelope’s first Rodeo!


Every year on Labor Day weekend the Rodeo comes to a small town in Palestine, IL. It takes about 35 minutes to get to this small town from where we reside. Roque and I decided to take Penelope for her first time. Penelope’s Tia Mariah came along with us as well. As soon as we arrived into the small town there was instantly a long line of vehicles, motorcycles, and golf carts waiting to be directed into parking. The local county officers were directing traffic into this large grassy field for parking. In the distance we could see the carnival rides all lit up and the Rodeo arena lights on. There was music playing and announcements as the Rodeo was getting started. We were a little late but not too bad. Once parked we made our way to the ticket stand. I was thinking tickets would be around $10.00 each but I was mistaken. Tickets per person $18.00! Luckly little miss Penelope was able to get in free. On our way to the stands you could see a couple western tack shops open for sales. Roque was able to purchase a rope, spurs, and spur straps for his son Mason. They are too cute. Roque is going to teach Mason how to rope and ride horses as soon as he is big enough.

Finding our seats.

Once inside the Rodeo area we were looking for section CC, row 12, seats 129/130/131. The stands were packed with families. I was carry Penelope and just kept thinking I was going to slip off balance and fall in the stands with the narrow benches. We finally found our seats towards the top of the bleachers and shuffled down row 12 to our spot. There was an older couple sitting behind us and a younger family sitting directly in front if us. Penelope was looking around at all the noises, people, lights, and action. She has never been to an event like this before. The first event began with cowboys wrestling young cows with horns. Not even 10 minutes in the stand and all of a sudden I hear this loud noise and a little girl crying. I looked over to my right and noticed that the little girl had fallen down from the middle bleachers down to the pea gravel below. Her mother instantly jumped down and went to her aid. The little girl appeared to be okay and more shaken up from the fall than anything. This just made me hold on to Penelope even closer!

Cattle Chase.

As the events continue the Rodeo asked for children 5-8years of age for Cattle Chase. The game is to send 3 young cows into the arena with 4 ribbons tied to their tail. The children have to grab a ribbon off the cows tale and bring it to the Rodeo Clown. Penelope thought all those children were silly. Penelope would dance/bounce up and down as the music would play during the game. The next age range of children were around 9-12. Before they started there was a dance off where the children were dancing to the latest silly dance moves.

Half time.


The events continued through the night with team roping. Soon it was half time. Mariah, Penelope, and I went down to get some refreshments and stretch our legs. We walked towards the carnival while Roque went to purchase the items for Mason that I spoke about earlier. Mariah and I took Penelope to see the Carousel. Penelope by this time was getting tired but still curious of all the pretty lights and sounds. She loved the Carousel. As we made our way back to the Rodeo we stopped back for a bag of cotton candy, hot dogs, and drinks. We made it back in time for the next event. Roque had taken the items for Mason and cotton candy back to the suv so he was a little late returning.

Barrels, Bulls, and my little social butterfly.


Once settled back into our seats Penelope had a bottle and watched the women’s barrel racing event. Once she was finished she started chatting up the family in front of us and the couple behind us. At one point she even reached back for the older woman behind us to hold her. She was so sweet to the older woman. Soon daddy arrived back with a light up toy horse necklace for Penelope. She thought this toy was awesome. First thing she did was pull it straight to her mouth for the taste test. As the barrel racing wrapped up they drove a new Chevy truck around the arena with the Rodeo Queen in the back waving to the audience. Roque lifted Penelope’s hand and started waving it like the Queen. Roque said we needed to practicing now. The couple behind us started laughing with joy. The final event finally arrived with the big bull riding. The cowboy riders were excellent! By this time Penelope was munching on little blueberry puffs trying to keep her eyes open. When Roque would hold her she would try to take his hat off the whole time. Once the last bull rider rode the Rodeo opened the main gates and let a herd of wild mustangs out into the arena to run around. It was such a beautiful sight to end the night!

The night comes to an end.



As the stands cleared we all went down to the arena for a family photo. Overall, Penelope was excellent and appeared to enjoy her first Rodeo. We made our way back to the suv, packed up, and headed back to our barn. Penelope fell alseep as soon as we started moving down the road. We will most likely be back next year.

If you are considering taking your family or just yourself to a Rodeo I would recommend it! Get out and get some dust on your feet and see some action. It will be worth it! I had just packed up a diaper bag with food, diapers/wipes, and a change of clothes for Penelope. The walk wasn’t too bad at all so no need for a stroller with just 1 baby. Food and drinks were priced decent. Hotdogs were $2.00 and drinks $3.00. The Carnival food was a bit pricey however. Their food was more like $8.00 and drinks $5.00. I wasn’t able to see the bathroom availabe but Mariah did and said she didn’t see anywhere to change a diaper. So we made do in a private area on the grass with a jacket for a diaper change. Wasn’t a big deal. Parking was free.

Thank you for reading this blog and I hope you have enjoyed it.

-Erica R.