Summerfest Rodeo Committee

Summerfest Rodeo Committee — Current and past Summerfest Rodeo Committee members front row (l-r): Scott Poese, Jacque Murray, Jan Buller, Quana Kelly, Tammy Tienken, Lauri Havranek, Bryan Sanford, Jeff Kalkowski and Jake Morten. Back row: Gene Kelly, Bill Langan, Junior Young and Garrett Lake. 

The 35th Annual Summerfest Rodeo will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20 at Carrol McKay Arena at Carney Park in O'Neill.

The event is sanctioned by Mid-States Rodeo Association (M-SRA) and Nebraska State Rodeo Association.

M-SRA was established in 1974 and has a membership of nearly 500 cowboys and cowgirls from Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Kansas. Members compete in more than 50 rodeos throughout the summer to qualify for the M-SRA finals.

"The Summerfest Rodeo has won the Mid-States Small Purse Rodeo of the Year award for the last four consecutive years," said O'Neill Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lauri Havranek. "This is voted on by Mid-State rodeo contestants."

Returning for a second year, "JellyBean" Adam Carlson will entertain the crowd during the rodeos.

Carlson had long thought about getting into the arena and performing as a "funnyman." In 2011 he decided to start working towards that dream. By the summer of 2012 he was able to start performing in different arenas.

He was chosen to perform at the Minnesota High School Rodeo finals twice, Midwest Bullriders finals, Rice Bullriding Glory Bound Tour finals and WOJO Rodeo Circuit finals twice.

This year's bullfighters are Coltan Kovarik of Grand Island and Matt Englehaupt of Raymond.

"All three of these guys will be at Ford Park around noon for a public meet and greet," Havranek said. "They also will be our judges again this year for the turtle races."

Scott Poese of KBRX Radio will be announcing at the event.

"I hope everyone comes out and enjoys the rodeo. It is a fun event," Havranek said.

Advance tickets for the rodeo are $6 for adults and $4 for kids and are available at O'Neill Area Chamber of Commerce, KBRX Radio, Torpin's Rodeo Market, O'Neill Super Foods and all the banks throughout O'Neill. At the gate tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for kids.

"Remember to sign the back of your ticket to have an opportunity to win the best seat in the house," Havranek said. 

Following the rodeo on Saturday night, the Summerfest Street Dance will be held from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the O'Neill Community Center parking lot featuring Backroad Spirits. 

"Christian Walsh, a former band member and an O'Neill native, will be back to play with the band," she said. 

According to his mother Kimberly Walsh, Christian and one of the other band members are also going to perform an acoustic show during the main show. 

For more information call 402-336-2355, email lauri@oneillchamber.com or visit www.oneillchamber.com.

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Editor/Photographer

I grew up 10 miles southwest of Stuart on the Greger family ranch. I graduated from West Holt Public Schools in Atkinson in 1997 and Northeast Community College in Norfolk in journalism in 1999.

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