|Bucking horses are part of the fun at the annual Middletown Days event, which this year will be held Friday, June 15, through Sunday, June 17, 2012. Spectators can enjoy the rodeo, parade, and gymkhana for free, or sign up to participate. Photo by Nona Perez.|
MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – The annual Middletown Days celebration has been going on for 51 years, and it’s one of those things that just gets better with time.
The event this year starts with roping on Friday, June 15, at 6 p.m. at Middletown’s Central Park.
Saturday, June 16, is the big day.
The parade through downtown Middletown at 10 a.m. is followed by a barbecue and rodeo at Central Park and a dance featuring the original Silver Creek band.
Sunday is the annual Father’s Day breakfast and the gymkhana at 1 p.m., plus music, food, and vendors in the park all day.
The annual event raises funds to support Middletown’s Central Park, which features an equestrian arena, children’s play area, barbecue facilities, and a stage and dance floor.
The park is operated and maintained solely by a nonprofit corporation using funds raised through community events.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, traveling from Perry’s Deli south of Middletown down Highway 29 to Tri Counties bank. Spectators should get to town before 9:30 a.m. to avoid getting caught in the detour traffic.
Parking is available on all streets east of Highway 29. Parking will not be permitted on most streets west of the highway.
Parade applications are available by email at [email protected] or by calling Martha Webster at 707-987-0470.
Parade entry cost is $5 for kids under 12, $7 for adults, and $10 for organizations and groups.
The barbecue starts at noon at Central Park, located just south of downtown Middletown.
Enjoy a delicious chicken or tri-tip meal with all the fixings while parade winners collect their trophies.
The cost is $12 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under. A karaoke contest follows at 1 p.m.
Fast action in the arena also starts at 1 p.m. with the Ranch Rodeo and Junior Rodeo.
Traditional rodeo events alternate with events for little cowboys and cowgirls throughout the day. Kid events include calf roping, mutton bustin', calf riding, and the hide ride.
Older cowpokes will compete in bronc riding, team roping, steer riding, and trailer loading events sanctioned by the Western States Ranch Rodeo Association (WSRRA).
Signups start at noon. For information contact Kevin Tighe at 707-355-2276.
The park will be filled with food, vendors and fun all day Saturday.
A special treat at last year’s 50th anniversary was the return of Silver Creek, a group of men who grew up in Pope Valley and played for Middletown Days while they were still in their teens.
The original members and friends reunited for the anniversary event, and will return this year to play for the traditional Saturday night dance.
The dance is from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. under the stars at Central Park.
The cost is $15 for adults, $10 for teens 13-18, and free for 12 and under.
Sunday starts early with the Father's Day Breakfast hosted by the Middletown Lioness Club from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Cost is $7 for adults, $4 for kids 6 and under.
Entertainment in the park includes a variety of music all day long and the gymkhana beginning at 11 a.m. (signups at 10 a.m.).
The big finale is the Queen’s Drawing for beef donated by the Deberry family just before the most exciting events, the rescue race and hide ride.
Contact Johanna Snell for gymkhana information at 707-355-1276.
The Cowboy Cafe is open with delicious hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches all day, and of course the Middletown Lions will be pouring at the beer booth.
Take the short drive to Middletown for some country western family fun and see for yourself why Middletown has been Lake County’s mid-June destination spot for 51 years.