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PHOTOS: The Way It Was Rodeo Returns to Virginia City


By Ty O’Neil

An event-filled weekend is planned for Virginia City with both the Victorian Steampunk Parade at noon Saturday, and the “Way It Was” Rodeo on Saturday and Sunday.

Preparations are underway for this weekend’s Virginia City the “Way It Was” rodeo, Virginia City’s first rodeo in nearly 20 years. They have brought in the expertise of the Flying U Rodeo Company and the Rosser family to help run the event. If you don’t recognize those names, they are best known for the Reno Rodeo.

This being the rodeo’s first year, it is not sanctioned, but competition will be fierce with cash prizes on the line for the winners. Virginia City’s Deny Dotson said that they will be looking for sanctioning down the road, but they are focused on growing the event over the next few years. A few years ago Dotson brought Cotton Rosser up to Virginia City during the Reno Rodeo and showed them the town, and plans for the “Way It Was” rodeo began.

One of the featured events is Muttin Bustin’, where youth riders try to ride a sheep. A few spots are still open but those wishing to enter are encouraged to show up early. Other competitions include extreme bronc riding and barrel racing among all the traditional rodeo events. Entertainment will also be on hand with trick roping and a motorcycle event referred to as the “flying cowboys,” among many others.

Dotson said, “It’s an authentic experience designed to let you step back in time to the way it was.”

He also mentioned that it’s not just the rodeo, it’s the whole town that people should come to see and enjoy. Steve Goedert, a rodeo veteran with 15 years experience, will be announcing the event and mentioned it will feature a variety of audience-involved activities, from the kids’ coin dig to the wild ride event that will be judged by the audience. A skydiver landing in the arena with the American flag kicks off the event.

The rodeo is Saturday and Sunday from 1-3 pm both days. Prices are $15 for general entry, $18 for reserved seating and $50 for VIP.

Ty O'Neil
Ty O'Neil
Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at This Is Reno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad.