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Want to go for a little drive? Reno's just the place for you, pardner

The Reno Rodeo begins with a cattle drive Thursday in the 'biggest little city'

The streets of Reno, usually filled with revelers and gamblers, will be filled Thursday with — wait for it — cattle.

That’s the day that 300 head of cattle will be herded through the streets starting at noon marking the start of the Reno Rodeo as cowpokes complete a five-day cattle drive, now in its 25th year, across the high desert of Northern California and Nevada.

As the steers arrive at the rodeo grounds just north of downtown Reno, onlookers will gather near Oddie Boulevard and Sutro Street to witness the spectacle.

The rodeo, billed as the “wildest, richest rodeo in the West,” has been drawing large crowds to the “biggest little city” for 96 years.

The competition begins Thursday evening in the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center’s two indoor and two outdoor arenas.

A variety of events will showcase the skills of many of America’s top rodeo stars. For 10 nights, they will compete in categories including bareback riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, team roping and women’s barrel racing.

The winners will be determined during the championship action June 27.

Local businessmen will swap their suits for boots during a nightly “steer decorating contest” that begins on Friday. Teams of two will enter the arena in an effort to “decorate” an ornery animal by tying a ribbon around its tail.

At the rodeo’s “mutton bustin’” event, each evening from 7-9, boys and girls ages 5 to 7 will climb atop sheep and hold on for as long as they can.

Tickets cost $17 - $25 per person per evening. They are also available by calling (800) 325-7328.

 

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