This past Thursday, the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo kicked off the three night event that brought new-comers and home-grown folks together to enjoy an exciting evening that “celebrates Lehi’s western lifestyle”.
The Lehi Round-Up Rodeo is the capstone event of a week-long city-wide celebration that draws people from all walks of life, whether they wear cowboy boots or sneakers. The Round-Up Rodeo, and the events leading up to it, are the highlight of many people’s summer plans. Cam Southwick walked to the rodeo grounds with his wife and two young daughters. “The Lehi Round-Up is my favorite time of the year. For me, it truly is better than Christmas.” Cam and his wife Savannah both grew up in Lehi and are excited to share this tradition with their daughters. Savannah said “We grew up going to all these events – the parades, the picnic, and the rodeo. Lehi is growing so much, but these things bring back the small-town feeling that makes Lehi special. It’s so great that people that have lived here forever, and people that just moved here, can come to the Round-Up and be a part of that together.”
Like any rodeo across the country, the occasion was a spectacle of rodeo queens, cowboys, and “animal athletes.” The audience cheered each event and laughed at the lively commentators and entertainers. As the evening cooled down, the wind picked up and sent spectators scurrying under the bleachers to retrieve hats, sunglasses, and even a few lost snacks. Any tradition worth its salt would be incomplete without good food to accompany it. Fifteen-year-old Talia looks forward every year to the food her family gets at the rodeo. “I love the hamburgers we get here. The rodeo just wouldn’t be the same without the good food.” Word spread quickly that the hamburgers at the rodeo were not to be missed. One man waiting in line for refreshments said “I have never been to this rodeo before. But when I told anyone that I was coming for the first time, they told me I just had to get a hamburger.”
Keeping tradition alive for the long-time locals and embracing greenhorn attendees was a key feature of this year’s cowboy exhibition. At the beginning of the evening, guests were invited to share pictures of their time at the rodeo on social media with the hashtag #jointhetradition. One family waiting in line to enter the rodeo grounds had been coming yearly for a generation, while the family in line behind them was seeing the rodeo for the first time. Upon hearing this, the matriarch of the regular rodeo-attending family said “Welcome to the rodeo! You will love it. You’ll be coming back next year for sure.”