Western Fest activities cram the week, promises fun for all ages

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The Annual Western Fest and PRCA Stampede Rodeo returns for another year with the same level of entertainment and excitement that has thrilled Granite Falls since its inception.
Within a special section in this week’s paper, readers will find features on Western Fest and the specialty act as well as information concerning both this and last year’s Western Fest Queen candidates and last year’s royalty.
Following Wednesday’s Kiddie Parade and royalty-related activities, the PRCA rodeo bursts onto the scene beginning Thursday, featuring saddle bronc, calf-roping, bull riding and a whole host of other events.
Each of Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s rodeos will begin at 7:30 p.m. On Thursday and Friday, the rodeo will be preceded by Minnesota Valley Riders Saddle Club-sponsored free pony rides from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. and Mutton Bustin (with the first 35, under 60 pound child registrants), which begins at 6:45 p.m.
During Thursday’s Kid’s Night, kids age 5 - 12 will be admitted for a dollar. On Friday, Tough Enough to Wear Pink night, two dollars of every ticket will go to the American Cancer Society for each paid admission adult wearing pink. And, otherwise, general ticket prices are: free (five and under); $5 (youth ages 6-14) and $15 (adults).
The rodeo gates will open at 5:30 p.m. each evening, with free shuttle rides  from the Rock Haven church parking lot to the rodeo grounds also becoming available at that time. Following the rodeo, free shuttle rides will return event-goers to their cars.
Saturday promises to be just as busy, with the Rodeo Run kicking off at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Miss Western Fest Queen’s Brunch at Minnesota West, the Firemen’s Barbecue and the Grand Parade at 1:00 p.m.
The Miss Western Fest Pageant begins at the YME auditorium at 4:30 p.m. Miss Western Fest and Princesses will be introduced later that night at Richter Field at 10:15, shortly before the sweepstakes drawing.
Local favorites Tanner Aus, Casey John Behrens and Leroy Behrens will be present in this year’s rodeo,
Aus will be performing on Thursday night, and the Behren’s brothers of Maynard will be on Saturday night.