Reborn Gilroy Rodeo is ready to go

Now that the Garlic Festival has come and gone, it’s about time for Gilroy’s next weekend event, this weekend. The Gilroy Rodeo is returning after a 62-year hiatus.

Tickets are now on sale for the Aug. 11 and 12 rodeo at gilroyrodeo.com. By keeping ticket prices low, along with offering free parking and $5 beer, rodeo organizer Erik Martin aims to make the event at 2365 Dunlap Ave. both affordable and family-friendly.

“The whole idea is to make so that you can bring your whole family for $40 a day,“ Martin said. “Where else can you go for $40 a day?”

Getting to the point where they can sell tickets has been a rocky road. Securing all the permits from Santa Clara County for security, traffic, bleachers and everything else under the sun has been similar to staying on top of a bucking bronc.

Radio ads for the Gilroy Rodeo began two weeks ago. Martin hopes that the reach of the ads, spanning the Bay Area, Sacramento, Modesto, into the Central Valley, and south toward Salinas, will help broaden interest in the revived Gilroy Rodeo.

Advance tickets cost $20, kids ages 12 and younger get in for free, and the parking is free. Tickets sold at the gate are $25. Tickets for an Aug. 11 dance are available at the gate for $25. The rodeo will donate proceeds from the dance, set for 7-10pm, to breast cancer research.

“People have had ideas, like charging $35 for both days, but the county wants to know whether it will be 5,000 people per day or 10,000 people throughout the weekend—they want to know exactly how many people will be there,” Martin said. “They’re worried about the traffic and security, so they want to know exactly what the numbers will be.”

Social media have been a boon for the Gilroy Rodeo. Within the last 28 days, almost 40,000 people have viewed the rodeo’s Facebook page, while 14,000 have checked it out.

Earlier this week Martin was still working out which beer distributor the rodeo will contract with. The choice between Bottomley Distributing company out of Milpitas and DBI Beverage in San Jose will determine what kind of brew the rodeo will serve since Bottomley serves Anheuser Busch products and DBI distributes Coors beer, a cowboy favorite.

Martin will not let his personal preference for Coors dictate his decision. “When it’s hot outside, and the beer’s cold, you don’t worry about it,” he said.

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