James River Rodeo expected to bring entrants of all ages

he 21st Annual James River Rodeo will be held Friday and Saturday, July 1-2.

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Rance Kramer, Towner, N.D., hangs on for a ride Friday, July 1, 2017 in the bareback riding competition during the James River Rodeo at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds. The 21st Annual James River Rodeo returns Friday and Saturday, July 1-2, at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun file photo
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JAMESTOWN – The 21st Annual James River Rodeo will bring in contestants of all ages from across the state as well as South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana for the event that runs Friday and Saturday, July 1-2, at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds, according to Greg Carlson, timed event director for the Roughrider Rodeo Association.

“It should be great entertainment for the crowd,” Carlson said. “Hopefully we have good weather and a good turnout.”

The family-style rodeo allows for a wider age range of contestants, said Casey Aldinger, president of the James River Rodeo. He said the age of contestants is anywhere from 6 up to 60 or 70 years old.

“All ages get to participate in the Roughrider Rodeo, which makes it tremendous for the families that travel,” he said.

Carlson said the crowd usually enjoys seeing the 6-year-old children compete more than the adults.


“If they are out there and trying their best and doing well, it’s fun to watch,” he said.

The James River Rodeo is a Roughrider Rodeo Association event and is a full rodeo that includes bull riding, bronco riding, barrel racing, calf roping and team roping, Aldinger said. The number of entries is unknown, but the James River Rodeo has had about 700 in past years.

The competition is in February, and other activities are slated over 4 days.

“You will see more events than you would at a lot of rodeos,” Carlson said.

The James River Rodeo will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Slack events will be held after the performance on Friday until about 2 a.m Saturday. Slack events will be held again at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Carlson said the scheduled evening performances are kept to about 2 1/2 hours.

Because of the high number of entries, slack events are held so everyone can compete in the Roughrider Rodeo Association event. Only a certain number of contestants can compete during the scheduled performances so slack events are held, Aldinger said.

“Usually it’s a lot of barrel racing, calf roping, team roping, usually some goat tying,” he said.

Aldinger said the contestants who compete during the slack events are still competing against others in the two scheduled evening performances. He also said the people who compete on Friday are competing against those who compete on Saturday.


The Roughrider Rodeo Association holds events throughout the year where entrants compete for cash purse prizes and points, which are accrued based on the results at the events. Depending on how an individual does, he or she can qualify to compete in the Roughrider Rodeo Association Finals.

Carlson said the main contractors for the James River Rodeo are Erickson Rodeo Bulls, Wildman Rodeo Co. and Hystad Roping Cattle.

If you go

What: James River Rodeo

Where: Stutsman County Fairgrounds

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 1-2; slack events after Friday performance and at 1 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $10 for ages 16 to adult, $5 for ages 6-16 and 5 and younger get in for free

Schedule for June 30 at Stutsman County Fair

8 a.m.: swine show

1 p.m.: sheep show


3 p.m: gates open, food concessions open, midway opens and wristband session begins

5 p.m.: goat show

7:30 p.m.: Johnny Holm Band - on stage

10 p.m.: merchants exhibits, home and hobby and 4-H exhibits close

11 p.m.: midway wristband session closes

1 a.m.: fair closes

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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