The Crooked River Roundup Kickoff Party and Queen Coronation and Auction will take place Saturday at Carey Foster Hall

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - 2014 Crooked River Roundup Queen Megan Hopper.

The Crooked River Roundup is still more than two month away, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early for Roundup fans to get an early fix.

This coming weekend, the Roundup Kickoff Party and Queen Coronation and Auction will return to Carey Foster Hall. The third annual event will feature a tri tip or chicken dinner with potato salad, baked beans, Caesar salad, dinner roll, and dessert, and visitors can meet 2014 Crooked River Roundup Queen Megan Hopper and Grand Marshal Pat McCabe.

“We wanted to do a community event and a party,” said Gari Jo Noyes, Crooked River Roundup Queen advisor. “The Crooked River Roundup is the single largest event in Prineville between the rodeo and the races, so we wanted to have a set time every spring that we could do a kickoff and get the community involved. It’s meant to be a party.”

In addition to the dinner and introduction to the queen and grand marshal, visitors can expect a live band as well as a DJ. Later, a silent and live auction will take place with all proceeds benefitting Hopper during her reign.

“She is going all over the Northwest and representing the Crooked River Roundup and Crook County,” Noyes said. “This goes to cover her lodging and travel costs, clothing, any tack needs, parade flowers – any expense related to going out and representing us.”

Before the kickoff parties started raising money for the queens, their families typically faced the brunt of the costs.

“It’s a huge commitment on behalf of the queen and her parents, so we wanted a way to entice people to try out for Crooked River Roundup Queen position and to make sure we are drawing good quality candidates who are really committed and take some of the burden of the cost off of the parents.”

The festivities will also include a thank you from 2013 Roundup Queen Mikaela Koellermeier, delivered by Roundup Board President Dean Noyes. The introduction and coronation of Hopper will follow. Then, 2013 Grand Marshal Jerry Brummer will introduce his successor McCabe.

In its first year, the kickoff party started strong with attendance exceeding expectation. Noyes said that they had hoped for about 50 visitors and $1,000 in auction sales. Instead, they served 160 dinners and sold $8,000 worth of items.

“Last year, we matched that. That’s our hope this year,” she said. “It has evolved into a good social gathering. It’s fun.”

The Crooked River Roundup Kickoff Party and Queen Coronation will be held on Saturday, April 12, at Carey Foster Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $16 with RSVP or $20 without. Children 12 and younger cost $10 with RSVP or $12 without.

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