Cowboy Up in Kiowa rodeo celebrates 25 years

Thousands jam fairgrounds to enjoy Western spectacle

Chancy J. Gatlin-Anderson
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 7/2/21

For many attendees, it was standing room only at the 25th annual Cowboy Up in Kiowa rodeo on June 26. The threat of rain didn’t stop the thousands of people who crammed into the Elbert County …

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Cowboy Up in Kiowa rodeo celebrates 25 years

Thousands jam fairgrounds to enjoy Western spectacle

Posted

For many attendees, it was standing room only at the 25th annual Cowboy Up in Kiowa rodeo on June 26. The threat of rain didn’t stop the thousands of people who crammed into the Elbert County Fairgrounds arena to watch bareback bronc riding, barrel racing, breakaway roping and more.

The crowd was filled with excited families with children, couples and friend groups, making the atmosphere electric. The 25th anniversary celebration of the rodeo was postponed in March 2020 due to growing concerns over COVID-19, making the 2021 return particularly exciting.

The Cowboy Up in Kiowa Rodeo is among the first wave of large-scale events in Elbert County since the slowing of COVID-19 cases and increased vaccination rate. For some attendees, it was their first venture out into large, crowded events amidst the pandemic.

“It was definitely nice to get out with people again,” said Josh Hood of Spring Valley Ranch. “There was a completely oversold crowd. People were sitting on fences and just sitting on the ground. It was one of the best rodeo experiences I’ve had in a long time.”

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