Faron Wahl, Manager
Congratulations to our 2016 Miss Prairie Village – Cayden Eliason, and our Miss Prairie Princess – Sophia Sudenga!
Who would have imagined, back when the Village was laid out in ’66, there would ever be so much great family stuff packed into one season here? We see unmeasured fun camping ahead, plus our bull ride, a variety show, our 50th celebration, two concerts, a car show, and a massive Jamboree featuring the Massey Expo of North America. Good stuff.
A long-standing favorite, the Northern Bull Riding Tour is back this Friday. It’s a banner event that has grown into its current form in great part thanks to our generous sponsors and the good work of the Chamber Ag Committee. We treasure our relationships with all of these fine folks in the Madison area.
For those who have attended bull riding events, you know what a thrill this sport offers. For those who may be new to the circuit, there’s much to watch if you pay attention to details. And the close observer will find details aplenty.
Contestants have eight seconds to prove they can stay on their bull, all the while ensuring that one free hand never touches the bull or themselves. They’re scored on a scale of a possible 100 points, tallied by arena judges critiquing their ability to control their ride as well as the performance of the bull. They’re only judged during that eight seconds, but staying on for any less duration equals no score.
This all occurs atop a 1700 pound mass of brawn bent on ending the ride abruptly. How fitting that this phenomenon is referred to as the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.
The bull fighters are a study all their own. Never more than a sniff away from the edge of life, these guys react to the bull’s every flinch and twist, positioning themselves by flash instinct to distract and spin the bull away from the rider during or after dismount. These guys make traditional clowning look like a game of Parcheesi.
As our bull ride arena is positioned in an area open to all who are camping on the village grounds, camping the night of June 10 does require two paid adult tickets ($24 total) in addition to that night’s camping fee. If the folks with a camping party are more than two, additional bull ride admission rates apply as well. The nature of our grounds set-up is very open; camping with us Friday night simply allows all campers the freedom to wander down and take in this exciting but costly event. Continuation of this type of popular programming requires that we collect the reasonable admission.
Speaking of camping, we had a banner Memorial Day weekend with over 100 campers parked here, each brimming with folks enjoying the historic and open nature of the village with their families. This coming weekend is already shaping up to break those numbers. Who would have seen this back in 1966?
We’ll celebrate 1966 plus all of our 50 years in the books on Saturday July 9. Part of our annual Railroad Days weekend, the 9th will be the focal point of this 50th anniversary season. Dignitaries have been invited, food and lots of fun programming will be in place, and we’ll hold a commemoration at 2:00 pm in our new gazebo. Fifty years from now folks will be looking back fondly on this day in 2016. And by the way – there’ll be no gate charge Saturday. Please plan to join us for this historical extravaganza!