Rodeo finals return to Antelope Valley Fair

Rodeo contestants carry flags for the National Anthem at the PRCA Rodeo California Circuit Finals at the Antelope Valley Fair. Courtesy of Antelope Valley Fair
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The RAM Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association California Circuit Finals are returning to the Antelope Valley Fair & Event Center on the weekend of Oct. 4-6 for the ninth consecutive year.

The top 12 contestants are scheduled to compete in seven events, including bareback riding, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping and barrel racing.

“It is an honor to once again bring California’s best rodeo professionals and the top animal ‘athletes’ to the Antelope Valley,” Johnny Zamrzla, PRCA California Circuit Committee chairman, said in a prepared statement Thursday. “The California Circuit Final rodeo is one of the most competitive and exciting spectator sports.”

In addition to the rodeo, the annual Craft Fair, featuring hundreds of crafters and shopping, is set to return, as well as the Van Dam Barn Dances, which will immediately follow the rodeo on Friday and Saturday night, and the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Flea Market and Car Show on Sunday.

Guests can also visit the Corona Cantina, located right outside the grandstands, for live music provided by country band the Doo-Wah Riders on Friday night and local favorite Jacob Nelson and the Tone Wranglers on Saturday. 

Rodeo festivities are expected to kick off on Friday with Patriot Day, with guests encouraged to wear red, white and blue, as well as free admission to all military and their dependents. Saturday is planned to be dedicated to breast cancer with a special ride-in by Ride for the Pink, an organization dedicated to raising money for breast cancer research, and guests are encouraged to wear pink. 

The rodeo is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on both Friday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 5, with gates opening at noon on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday at the Antelope Valley Fair & Event Center, located at 2551 West Avenue H in Lancaster. Gates are scheduled to open at 7 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6 with the rodeo starting at 2 p.m. For more information, visit avfair.com.

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