With reins in hand, horseback riders brought a bit of ranch life to Yuba City and Marysville on Wednesday with a cattle drive to kick-off the 87th annual Marysville Stampede.
Followed by floats from area high schools, FFA and 4-H clubs, riders carefully led a herd of cattle down the streets of the two cities as crowds that had formed on the sidewalks waved the passing formation.
“This is what they do every year to kick off the rodeo,” said Laurie Johnson, a member of the Marysville Stampede committee. “Some of them are longhorns and the smaller ones with the shorter horns are the roping cattle. They just drive them down the road to kick off the rodeo and be part of our community.”
A periodic yelp helped keep the cows in line as they sometimes stopped to graze on dried grass along the medians.
Daisy Wymore, a third-time participant in the cattle drive and the 2019 Marysville Stampede Queen, brought her 20-year-old American Paint Horse, Cherokee.
She said she loves to participate to bring awareness to the cowboy lifestyle that still exists.
“It’s amazing. It’s so exhilarating,” said Wymore about the cattle drive route that saw horses and cattle go over the 5th Street Bridge. “The cattle usually get the hang of it because we keep them squared in really well. They do really well as long as we’re kind of pushing them and keeping them nice and tight. Getting up onto the bridge is kind of tricky because they want to disperse, but if we keep them nice and tight then they just go over it no problem.”
Johnson said about 30 cattle from Flying U Rodeo in Marysville were part of the drive.
Ellie Landers, a member of the Marysville Stampede committee and a Wheatland High School ag teacher, helped organize some of the floats involved in the parade.
“We’re starting to grow the parade a little bit,” said Landers. “So we thought that’s a good place to start, to invite the local clubs, 4-H chapters, FFA chapters. Also to give them a chance to showcase what they have and what they offer to the community and schools in the area.”
Marysville Stampede festivities continue today with a Marysville Stampede Local Team Roping Qualifier that will be held at Cotton Rosser Arena in Beckwourth Riverfront Park, Biz Johnson Drive, Marysville. Sign-ups will start at 5:30 p.m. and the roping competition will begin at 6 p.m.
On Friday, the 8th annual Marysville Stampede Sodbusters dinner, hosted by the Marysville Rotary Club, will be held at the Riverfront Park/Cotton Rosser Pavillion starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are required to attend and all proceeds will benefit local community service projects.
On Saturday, the first rodeo performance will be held at Cotton Rosser Arena. Gates open at 3 p.m. and the rodeo will begin at 5 p.m. As part of Military Appreciation Day, all active duty military personnel can get in free with a military ID card.
The rodeo will continue on Sunday with gates opening at 1:30 p.m. and the rodeo beginning at 3:30 p.m.
“Sunday will be Tough Enough to Wear Pink Day and we will be showing our support of breast cancer awareness by wearing pink to the rodeo,” a Marysville Stampede release said. “If you wear pink to the rodeo, you will receive a free raffle ticket for a chance to win a pair of Justin Boots or many other great prizes.”
Tickets for the Marysville Stampede are all general admission and cost $20 per performance for adults or $10 for kids ages 4-12. Children 3 and under are free.
Tickets will be sold at the gate or can be purchased in advance at several area locations, including Cotton’s Cowboy Carral, 320 Fifth St., Marysville; the Silver Dollar Saloon, 330 First St., Marysville; Grange Co-Op, 1262 Stabler Ln., Yuba City; Lakeview Center Yuba City 76, 1466 Colusa Hwy., Yuba City; and City Grill, 1912 Hwy. 65, Wheatland.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call 742-8240 or visit www.marysvillestampede.com.