MARQUETTE — The Smoky Valley Saddle Club Rodeo will celebrate its 41st year as it returns to the Marquette rodeo grounds this weekend.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at with mutton busting and children events. The rodeo itself will start at 8 p.m.

“Team roping, barrel racing and bull riding are our biggest events,” said Lawrence Spohn, treasurer of the Smoky Valley Saddle Club.

Registration for mutton busting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 1. Those wishing to participate in the event should call 785-546-7061.

Other events at the rodeo will include, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie down roping and more.

Young ones will still be able to enjoy events just for them. Stick horse racing is geared for children 5 and younger. The pig scramble is suitable for kids 6 to 9 and the calf scramble is for 11-and 12-year-olds.

Another event that is coming back this year is the horse colt raffle.

“We’ve been doing that for about 25 years and it does pretty well every year,” Spohn said. “We will raffle off the colt. The winner doesn’t have to take the horse unless they’ve got someone lined up to buy it. Or if they don’t have anyone lined up, the Saddle Club will pay the winner $200 to take it.”

After the rodeo on Saturday evening, there will be a free dance from 10:30 to 1:30 p.m. with the Jason Callahan Band. However, those attending the dance must have a rodeo wristband. If not there will be a $5 cover charge.

For the past few years, a rodeo clown has entertained the crowd to keep the evening upbeat.

“He’s from Wisconsin and he’ll tell jokes and do things with the kids once in a while. We had quite a few people who wanted a rodeo clown so we called around to other rodeos and asked how they did things and we just thought it fit for us to add him,” Spohn said.

Advance tickets are available at most Marquette businesses. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $10 at the gate. Advance tickets for children ages 5 to 11 are $3 and $5 at the gate. Tickets for children younger than 5 are $3.

For more information contact Brooke Haas by email at or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.