81st Annual Caldwell Night Rodeo – A History
The Caldwell Night Rodeo has been around for 81 years. But before the rodeo became one of the rodeo's listed on the professional rodeo tour, it went through major changes.
The rodeo first began in 1935 as part of the festivities to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the beginning of irrigation on the Boise project. It was called the Homesteaders’ Silver Jubilee and Night Rodeo. To make sure the Night Rodeo was official, lights were installed to the rodeo grounds. It was the first night rodeo in Southern Idaho. The continued into the 1940's, but due to the war, the rodeo took a two year break.
After World War II, the rodeo continued into the 1960's where some major changes would take place. In l963, the rodeo moved to the brand new Canyon Multi-Purpose Stadium. Due to lower turn outs from years past, the rodeo board decided to move the dates of the rodeo from August to June and the name was changed to the Treasure Valley Round Up.
The changes were not successful. The weather did not corroborate. Heavy rains caused the bucking animals to stop bucking moments after coming out of the chutes due to slipping and sliding and riders were injured. But most of all, attendance was down and the Round Up ended in major debt.
1966 came with positive change for the rodeo. It was moved to the Simplot Stadium complex and it remains there to this day. The dates moved back to August and crowds were ecstatic about the changes to the rodeo. Finally, the name would be changed to the Caldwell Night Rodeo.
The rodeo directors vowed the cowboys would be the stars and they would put on a rodeoer’s rodeo. They have stayed true to that vow. Today the rodeo draws over 40,000 over the five days and is listed among the top 20 professional rodeos in the nation. Some of the best cowboys and cowgirls in the nation make sure to stop in Caldwell, Idaho on their rodeo tour.
Make sure to get out to the rodeo early to watch the junior rodeo events beginning at 6:30pm. The main performance begins at 8pm. Get your tickets now!