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“Ride ‘Em: A Night at the Bastrop Rodeo!”

2009 August 21

The GRAVITRON, my favorite childhood ride

As a kid growing up in San Antonio,  two of my favorite annual events were the carnival and the Stock Show & Rodeo.  So when my friend emailed me a couple weeks ago with a list of several events for her birthday weekend, my eyes lit up when I saw the last item: CARNIVAL/RODEO!!!  In all its caps-locked, multiple exclamation-pointed glory, she wrote it with the same childhood joy and enthusiasm that those words inspired within me.

Officially, the event is known as the Bastrop Homecoming and Rodeo, a five-day event featuring a carnival, a rodeo, three days of bands, and a parade.  Armed with cameras and a lot of cash (for beer, fried Twinkies and funnel cakes, of course!), we made the 30-minute drive out to Bastrop.  After paying the $10 entry fee for the rodeo, we ran straight to the stockyards to snap some photos and shoot some video of the young cows.  Channeling my inner child, I beckoned the disinterested livestock to allow me to pet them; they just stood there.

Fast Ferris Wheel in Texas

Grabbing a seat in the bleachers, we popped open some beers.  Watching the cowboys ride (and sometimes fall off) the bucking bulls was impressive, but my favorite part of the rodeo has always been the rodeo clown.   Running around with a fake ass crack hanging out, his jokes and silly antics always seem to take away a little of the tension of the rodeo events.

The screams (or maybe the creaking sounds) from the rides at the carnival next door made it hard to concentrate on the rodeo.  Although my childhood favorites, the Zipper and the Gravitron, were both at this carnival, my youthful nerves of steel were not-especially after seeing many of the rides shake and sway.  When it came time to choose a ride, we settled for a “less terrifying” open air ride. As you’ll see in the video, my friends had a great time.  I, on the other hand, held on for dear life.  I was proud of myself for not screaming on the Ferris Wheel, despite it being the fastest Ferris Wheel I’ve ever ridden on.

Check out the pics and video montage, below, showing some of the sights and sounds of the carnival and Rodeo.

Have you been to the rodeo lately? What do you think: childhood fun or anti-vegan nightmare?  Do you remember your favorite carnival rides?

In the 2-minute video, try to spot the following:

  • MOO COWS!!

    A cowboy lasting more than 8 seconds

  • The ZIPPER
  • Children chasing calves
  • A big white bunny
  • Betty Boop flip-flops (!!)
  • a first-hand view from ON THE RIDES!

The Midway was full of stuffed animals...AND CARNIES!

This rubber ducky game was too difficult to win

Who needs health food when you have fried twinkies!?

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One Response leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    August 23, 2009

    I love the Mutton Bustin’ where kids ride the sheep. Girls almost always win and the average ride last 1 second.
    We rode the ferris wheel at Wurst Fest and the Carnie told us he’d feel better if he had a beer.
    Freaked me out as my parents instilled a great fear of carnival rides insisting drunks put the travelling rides together.

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