Mareeba's rodeo launches with grand parade tonight
MORE than 50 floats will line the main street of Mareeba tonight as part of the Mareeba Mazda Monster Downtown Parade.
With 17 queen entrants joining the parade in Byrnes St at 7.45pm to kick off the annual event, the crowning ceremony will take place soon after to reveal the names of the 2012 Queen, Princess and Miss Personality for the rodeo weekend.
Mareeba District Rodeo Association secretary Charisse Andrews said the parade floats would circle twice around the main street.
She said it was a good turnout of floats and expected more to be joining the circuit tonight as part of the fun.
“There’s the floats that enter to be judged and then tonight we’ll get a few more who will join as part of the fun,” Ms Andrews said.
“There’s a lot of businesses that have entered floats as well as charities and clubs.
“It’s a fun family event for everyone.” There will be a sideshow alley as well.
Tonight’s parade will lead into two days of rodeo action across the weekend at Kerribee Park, Mareeba.
The rodeo action will continue after tonight’s downtown parade and this weekend is building up to be one of the best rodeos yet.
Ready for the arena action this weekend is Mareeba-born Ryley Gibb.
At just 16 years old, the teenager has only just got his boots dusted but is already making his mark in the rodeo circuit.
Ryley, who now lives in Charters Towers, is looking to be the leading rookie after placing second in two novice rodeos at Collinsville and Townsville and an equal first in Mackay this year.
This weekend Ryley will compete in team roping and steer wrestling and has followed in the footsteps of his father and title champion, Mark Gibb.
“When he was placed first in the Open he was against some of the best steer wrestlers in the country,” Mark said.
“He’s opened a few eyes in the industry and he’s the youngest member to make the Queensland team. It’s a big step up for him.”
The teen has trained at the Shane Iker School this year and last year was at the Mark Price School and juggles his Year 12 studies with rodeo.
“He wanted to steer wrestle at the Mareeba Rodeo last year but I wouldn’t let him,” he said.
“He was too young but we rope together ... everyone’s having a go at me that my son is beating me in rodeo now ... but he’s not just beating me, he’s beating everyone else too.”
Mark’s daughter, Tylen, 19, will also compete on the weekend, in the ladies barrel race. Committee member Tanya Piggott said Saturday night’s Total Eden Interstate Teams Rodeo Challenge Queensland vs New South Wales was one not to be missed.
“We hope that we have the same winning streak as the Queensland Maroons,” Ms Piggott said.
“This year we’ve changed the program a bit to have the Mazda Challenge run in conjunction with the Interstate Challenge and this will boost the night entertainment for the crowd.”
Rodeo association secretary Charisse Andrews said there would also be traditional exhibits and favourites including side-show alley. On Saturday there will be the Beaut Ute Muster from 9am, the Mareeba Agricultural Show Exhibit Marquee from 10am-6pm as well as woodchips from 11am before one of the highlights of the rodeo. On Sunday’s program the agricultural show will run from 10am-2.30pm where there will be a variety of craft, photographic, food and floral displays.For more information on this weekend’s Mareeba Rodeo visit www.mareebarodeo.com.au. Admission to the rodeo on Saturday: adults $30, children (6-17 years) 410, aged pensioners and seniors card holders $15, weekend adult $40, weekend child $15, weekend aged pensioners and seniors card holders $25. Admission on Sunday: adults $17, children (6-17 years) $6 and aged pensioners and seniors card holders $11. Weekend family passes are $75 but must be pre-purchased.The Mareeba Mazda Monster Downtown Parade will kick off at 7.45pm in Byrnes St, Mareeba, followed by the Queen crowning ceremony.
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Cheyenne Piggott, 2, and sister Indiana, 5, are ready for the rodeo this weekend. Picture: KYLIE REGHENZANI