September brings with it high summer temperatures, Labor Day, the Pioneer City Rodeo and the Miss Rodeo Illinois pageant in Palestine, Ill. The Pioneer City Rodeo is one of the two PRCA rodeos in Illinois. If you haven’t gotten to make the journey to Palestine for the rodeo you are missing out! This isn’t just a rodeo for Palestine, it is a town wide holiday! My kind of holiday!
The weekend started out with a dinner with all the sponsors and supports of the rodeo. Without these people the rodeo wouldn’t be possible. It takes so much work behind the scenes to put on a rodeo. Thank you sponsors!
Friday was the start of the Miss Rodeo Illinois and Miss Teen Rodeo Illinois pageant and the first performance of the rodeo. So bitter sweet! It seems like only yesterday I was on the other end of the spectrum. John Harrison and I went to visit the Palestine Grade School to get them excited for the rodeo (I don’t think they needed much help! They were already ready to rodeo!). Thank you so much to Mr. John Barns and crew for taking such good care of us during the rodeo and letting us be a part of your rodeo family for the weekend! I was able to carry the American flag in all the performances. That is something that will never get old! Flying around the arena as Old Glory’s wings will be something I will remember and cherish forever.
Saturday was such a busy day but I think one of my favorites of the weekend! It was Pancake Breakfast day! One of my favorite things about the Pioneer City Rodeo is how the whole town comes out for the rodeo and the other events. Such an awesome rodeo town and family. The contestants and I flipped pancakes in the morning, modeled our dresses, gave speeches, helped sell some buckles and even had lunch with the clowns.
Sunday was the day everyone was waiting for, but first there was church and horsemanship. Thankfully the weather was lovely and we had a dry weekend. It was not a secret that the judges had a very hard choice a head of them. In addition to horsemanship, Sunday was coronation day! Congratulations to Virginia and Olivia! These ladies worked so hard all weekend and the weeks leading up to the pageant. All of the contestants worked extremely hard. I know any one of them would have made an amazing titleholder. Sunday was another bittersweet day. I was so excited and proud of my new friends but Sunday was my last time caring the flag in the grand entry of an Illinois rodeo, my last fly by as Miss Rodeo Illinois in Illinois and the last time the loud speakers would say “Ariel Weinman, your Miss Rodeo Illinois” at my home state rodeo.