Yippie-i ki-yay, it’s Coarsegold Rodeo time

The Coarsegold Rodeo and Gold Rush Days will bring plenty of action and excitement for everyone in Coarsegold this weekend.
The Coarsegold Rodeo and Gold Rush Days will bring plenty of action and excitement for everyone in Coarsegold this weekend. Sierra Star

Cowboys and cowgirls should dust off their boots and prepare for this weekend, as Coarsegold prepares to host a true piece of Americana.

The Coarsegold Rodeo, a tradition in the small western town for more than 60 years, will be held from Friday to Sunday. It promises a full calendar of cowboy excitement with mutton busting, roping, and more, alongside vendors, educational booths, and a western dance Saturday night.

The event is a celebration of the traditions behind American frontier life, dating back to the 1800s. As cowboys and cowgirls established communities to raise cattle, with long cattle drives of over 15 miles per day, they found ways to battle the elements and stay resolved with the strong spirit of the American west.

Rodeos first began as informal competitions, as riders sought to prove they had the mettle to best their competitors. And now, with events like barrel racing and roping, modern cowboys and cowgirls look to prove the same in Coarsegold.

Coarsegold Rodeo activities will be held Friday through Sunday at the Coarsegold Rodeo Grounds off of Road 415.

On Friday, the rodeo will host Heritage Day, which will have activities like hay rides and roping and riding demonstration for kids. Saturday will begin with an Exceptional Kids Rodeo for those with disabilities, before the gates open at 3:30 p.m., followed by a dance that evening with music by the Larry Keys Band.

On Sunday, there will be the Cowboy Church and Breakfast in the morning, with gates opening at 11:30 a.m. for crowning of the Coarsegold Royalty, mutton busting, and rodeo events.

The complete rodeo schedule of events is as follows:


9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Heritage Day for kids


10 a.m. Exceptional Kids Rodeo

3:30 p.m. Rodeo gates open

5 p.m. Mutton busting

6 p.m. Rodeo starts

8 p.m.-11 p.m. The Larry Keys Band


9 a.m. Cowboy Church and Round Up Breakfast

11:30 a.m. Rodeo gates open

12 p.m. Royalty crowning

12:30 p.m. Mutton busting

1:30 p.m. Rodeo begins

Tickets are $15 for ages 13 and up, $5 for ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under.

Michael Steen, of Graydon Kennels, will serve as Grand Marshal for the event.

Details: cgrodeogrounds.com, Chloe Ferguson, (559) 676-7864, 1996chloemaeferguson@gmail.com. Vendor questions, Jill Satterfield, (559) 760-5581, jsat1@gmail.com. Rodeo grounds owner Kevin Tweed, (559) 285-3344, kevin@pavilionp.com.

Gold Rush Days

While the Coarsegold Rodeo Grounds are bustling with skilled horsemen and women in full western gear as they race and perform stunts for thrilled audiences, the inaugural Gold Rush Days will take place at Coarsegold Historic Village and offer fun to non-rodeo fans.

Earlier this year, the Coarsegold Rodeo Association announced it would be unable to produce the rodeo and wanted to focus on a new way to raise money for children in Eastern Madera County.

As a result, Gold Rush Days, also from May 5 - 7 at the Coarsegold Historic Village, will welcome children and adults to a weekend full of fun activities and performances sure to bring delight.

Throughout the weekend, an 11-piece “extreme” inflatable obstacle course will be set up alongside a climbing wall, a bungee run, an 18-foot slide, and a “ninja” style combination course. Vendors and booths, including some to benefit Yosemite High football and baseball teams, Yosemite Youth Football and Cheer, Coarsegold 4-H, Yosemite FCA, Oakhurst Boys & Girls Club, and Oakhurst Girl Scouts, will be available all three days.

“We are so excited to share Gold Rush Days as a platform for our mountain nonprofits to raise money,” said Anita Johnson, a member of the CRA board. “Come hungry, bring your kids to enjoy the extreme inflatables, and enjoy the vendor booths and shops.”

Friday will be Heritage Education Day from 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., with presentations from agencies like the California Department of Fish & Wildlife to help educate youth about plants and animals in the Sierra Nevada.

On Saturday, Patti Law, owner of the Patti Law School of Dance, will hold a special performance from 10 a.m. - noon.

Wild Hare, a band that plays a mix of rock to blues, will take the stage from 6 - 9 p.m. Friday. Country band Sierra Rider will play from 1 - 4 p.m. Saturday. Vendors and the inflatable course will be available every day, with hours 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday.

Details: coarsegoldgoldrushdays.com, email coarsegoldgoldrushdays@gmail.com, Anita Johnson at (559) 760-6848.

Staff report