The War Bonnet Roundup is Idaho’s Oldest Rodeo. Today, more than 450 cowboys and cowgirls compete each summer in front of more than 15,000 rodeo enthusiasts. The Roundup was originally started in 1911 by a group of local businessman and then was later taken over by the Chamber of Commerce. Eventually, the American Legion Department of Idaho Post 56 nonprofit veteran’s organization took over the reins. Over the years, the rodeo has been held at various locations including Tautphaus Park and is now held at Sandy Downs, a city-owned facility. The Legion grew the widely popular event into the show it is today and for that we are forever grateful.
This year marks the first year the City of Idaho Falls and the Parks & Recreation Department has run this historic rodeo, and we are honored to welcome back the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall. From the beginning, the tribes provided the most colorful component of the rodeo, making the War Bonnet Roundup an important part of eastern Idaho’s culture and tradition. We are very passionate about maintaining and building upon this legacy.
A PRCA sanctioned event, we aim to bring the best rodeo talent and stock in to compete in a family friendly atmosphere. This year’s rodeo will be held August 3, 4, and 5, 2017 at the Bank of Idaho Arena at Sandy Downs.
Gates open at 5 p.m., come early to get the best seats and enjoy the mechanical bull, games, food and vendors.
Beginning nightly at 7 p.m. come and enjoy our youth rodeo events including mutton bustin’, calf and lamb scramble and mini-bull riding.
The rodeo starts at 8 p.m. with the War Bonnet Roundup Royalty flag presentation followed by wild horse racing – a new event sanctioned by the Wild Horse Racing Association of America and sponsored by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. During the event, teams of contestants attempt to catch a wild horse, saddle and ride across the finish line. Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) sanctioned events follow and include bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. The rodeo will end each night with a free-style bull fight.