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Here We Go Rodeo
Mommy Musings 04-05-23

As the saying goes and I’ve shared before, “You know it’s time for rodeo when Bachi puts up the fence.”

For those unaware, “Bachi” is Mike Bacigalupi, longtime owner of the H-B Saloon and Bachi’s Restaurant in Oakdale. His business, along with a few others, some might consider “the hub” of Rodeo Week.

Professionally speaking each year, the week before this one, I take a collective breath, pull out my notebook and get to jotting. There’s a lot for us to cover and while our team may now be lean, the expectation and commitment remains the same.

It’s a fun week to do this job. Oakdale knows how to put on a party and Rodeo Week is indeed a party and not just for the adults. Rodeo, in and of itself is a true family experience. No different that baseball, football or any other sport; although the expense is a bit less.

As a ‘City Girl,’ I learned this by way of love for a Cowboy. My kids’ father, a Wyoming boy, grew up in the arena. While his brothers team roped, he much preferred bareback riding. By the time we met, he had found his seat in the bleachers watching with an appreciation of what all went into doing well in the arena.

It’s hard to enter a rodeo and not find something to smile at. Such a true American pastime. I love that it’s still embraced by our community. Little ones in boots and hats, babies in stylish flare pants and matching bows and of course the mini blue jeans. Doesn’t seem that long ago that my two teens were on those very grounds wearing their own western fashion.

As a community member, I know that for as many of us who love Rodeo Week, there are just as many who get out of town. Detesting the traffic, the blocked roads or even the stumbling over served as they meander down F Street; it can be a lot.

However, if you find your way to navigate you just might be surprised by some fun, fellowship and a few good memories.

For those who aren’t in town Monday through Friday, I truly encourage you to take in the parade. While we have skipped a few years ourselves, I still must admit, there is nothing quite like the Rodeo Parade put on by our own Oakdale Saddle Club. From the Shriner clowns, to the local sports clubs, dancing horses and everything else you can imagine, it’s simply good old-fashioned fun. Truth be told, watching the faces of the young audience is equally entertaining as they wave at their favorites with such excitement.

Then of course there is the Rodeo itself both Saturday and Sunday and yes, we know it’s on Easter this year. The funny thing about Rodeo is unlike Easter, which follows a different calendar, Rodeo is always the second weekend in April. This year that just happens to also include Easter Sunday.

During the week, there’s something going on just about every day.

If you’re reading this early enough in the day on Wednesday, you may want to be careful navigating F street come midafternoon. The “cowgirls” or ladies who lunch are sure to be out on foot in full force as this has historically become known as their day.

Pioneered by the Cowboy Museum who first started the Cowgirl Luncheon a little over two decades ago, many other businesses and restaurants have jumped on board. While “the” Cowgirl Luncheon does pay tribute to an honoree, as well as serve as a major fundraiser for the museum, many other establishments have opened their doors to help others not feel left out. At the end of the day it’s simply a good time filled with laughter, a bit of mayhem and a lot of fashion.

Come Thursday the Oakdale Chamber’s Annual Arrest a Boss will ensue. Leaving more fun and memories. Later that night the queen will be appointed and celebrated at the Cowboy Museum as the tradition of Rodeo Queen continues. If memory serves there should also be a dummy roping giving some youngsters a spin at the fun.

Oh yes, I understand, the Western way of life is not for everyone and it doesn’t have to be. It is however a significant piece of our fabric of who we are as Americans. A pastime which has remained well preserved in Oakdale.

If you should opt to join the party, just know before you arrive, you are welcome. There is no judgement in the Western way of life, it’s quite simply come one, come all.

And if you happen to be among the few who simply bow out and seek shelter from the party, again no judgement, just please watch out for the horses and their riders as you make your way through town.

Ride Cowboy Ride.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.