Newport’s biggest weekend is getting a little bigger this year.
Festivities in the Park joins the lineup during the 67th annual Newport Rodeo.
“The rodeo traditionally in Newport has been the biggest weekend of the year,” said Michelle Nedved, publisher of the Miner Newspapers, who’s helping organize the festival.
The Newport/Priest River Rotary is sponsoring the new event, and members have been working closely with the rodeo association and chamber of commerce so that the events complement one another, Nedved said.
At Newport City Park, the festival on Saturday will include games like silly string tag, sumo wrestling and chicken poop bingo, plus the spray park will be open. There will be vendors and a beer and wine garden. And, there will be music: Local acts Larry Sauer, Mila and Skookum Creek Music Company play during the afternoon, finishing with headliner the Plastic Saints, of Spokane.
Meanwhile at the rodeo grounds, look for more live music and vendors, plus food trucks, a petting zoo, pony rides, bouncy house and other activities during the day.
The rodeo parade Saturday morning will end at the city park.
Also Saturday at the park: Stick horse races are making a comeback. Children ages 3 to 12 can buy a horse (a paper horse head attached to a stick) for $1 and decorate it. Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated and the fastest, with the winners of the different heats competing during Saturday night’s rodeo performance.
And the big event – the rodeo – will be Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Competitions include team roping, bull riding and ranch saddle bronc, along with trick horse riding and other entertainment.
“We kind of make it like going to the fair except it’s a rodeo,” said Ray Hanson, president of the Newport Rodeo Association.
On Sunday, there will be barrel racing starting at 11 a.m. Admission to that is free.
“You don’t necessarily have to be a serious rodeo fan to enjoy what’s going on up here,” Hanson said.
This story has been updated to correct the location of the Newport Rodeo.
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