Snake River Stampede Rodeo
The Snake River Stampede is a rodeo held in Nampa, Idaho. It is one of the top twelve professional rodeos recognized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and is held for five days every year during the third week of July. There are many community events which help kick-off the rodeo week; in 2015 the Stampede is scheduled for July 14-18.
The Snake River Stampede had its humble beginnings as a bucking contest in conjunction with Nampa's harvest festival. The bucking contest was added to the harvest festival in 1913 and it became the "Rodeo and Buck Show." An area was roped off for the contest on the present site of the Nampa Post Office. Spectators watched from behind the ropes, as there were no bleachers. The bucking contest gained in popularity, and other events were added to the show.
By 1937, the rodeo broke away from the autumn harvest festival, and the show moved to summer in July. At this time, the rodeo joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and a new name was chosen. After considering such names as Ski-Hi Rodeo and Thunder Mountain Round Up, rodeo director Ike Corlett chose "Snake River Stampede."
In 1950, a new stadium was built on Garrity Boulevard, directly west of the American Legion baseball stadium (Bill Lofholm Field at Rodeo Park) and north of Lakeview Park. The horseshoe-shaped outdoor stadium opened to the east and seated 10,000. Cowboy singers were brought in to sing at half-time, during the rodeo. Gene Autry was the first of such singers, followed by others, such as Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, Rex Allen, and the Sons of the Pioneers.
In 1997, a brand new indoor stadium was built in conjunction with the Ford Idaho Center, located just northeast of exit 38 on Interstate 84. The 1950 stadium at the "Stampede Grounds" was demolished and the site is now occupied by The Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho. It is separated from the baseball field by a new street, Stampede Drive, which passes through the area that held the east ends of the north and south grandstands. The open area to the northeast was used for parking and is now Snake River Elementary School.
There are many popular events to kick-off the week of the Snake River Stampede. These events are designed to create enthusiasm among residents to see the rodeo. They also create a sense of community in the city.
- Buckaroo Breakfast
- Rodeo Parade
- Equestrian Drill Team Competition
- Rope & Run
- Slack Competition
- Mutton busting
- Miss Rodeo Idaho Competition
- Calf Scramble Scholarship Endowment
- Equestrian Drill Teams
- Snake River Stampeders - Night Light Equestrian Drill Team
- MSR Maps.com - aerial photo - 1992-05-25 - accessed 2012-01-24