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In anticipation of the 75th anniversary of the Roundup, event organizers will be hosting a gala fundraiser in early February

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Many plans are in the works to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Crooked River Roundup. The gala is the first event to kick of the festivities.

The Crooked River Roundup is celebrating its 75th anniversary this summer, and its leaders are planning to throw a big, early party to commemorate the occasion.

Rodeo fans across the Northwest are invited to attend the Roundup's official 75th Anniversary Kickoff Gala on Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Crook County Fairgrounds Indoor Arena. According to Kara Snider, the Roundup's general manager, the event is an opportunity to celebrate the CRR's iconic place in the fabric of the Prineville community and will serve as a fundraiser for the association, fairgrounds, and local youth organizations.

"We had actually talked about it for last year," she said. "Typically, in the community in February, there is nothing going on, so the Roundup had wanted to provide an event, provide something for people to go and do in the community.

The gala will include dinner, live music by local artists Wayward Soul and Kristi Kinsey with lead guitar Kurt Waterman, an auction and entertainment by cowboy poets Jay Snider, Ross Knox, and Oklahoma troubadour Kevin Davis, storytelling by Warm Springs tribal elder Wilson Wewa, the introduction of the 75th Crooked River Roundup Queen Emily McDaniel and 2020 Grand Marshals Mike and Donna Mohan.

The event will essentially build upon the previously held Roundup Queen Coronation that has typically taken place in April in Carey Foster Hall, and give it more of a formal – but not too formal – twist.

Snider explained that people don't have to show up in formalwear, but they are encouraged to dress up a bit. Given its proximity to Valentine's Day, people could treat it like a date.

"It will be an elegant type of setting," Snider said.

The event is also limited to adults 18 and older.

Though the event will be bigger and more formal, other elements of the queen coronation events will remain. The queen and grand marshals will still be introduced, and the goal of raising funds for the queen will stay intact. However, fundraising goals will expand to benefit the entirety of the Roundup as well.

"There will be a silent auction and live auction," Snider said. "They are pretty specific auction items. They are not your typical items we have had at the queen coronation. These are well thought out, planned items."

Roundup leaders have sent out about 750 invitations to the event, all of which contain an RSVP card for a ticket. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $75 online at crookedriverroundup.com or at the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce. The deadline to buy tickets in advance is Jan. 24. They cost $90 at the door.

Though Roundup leaders sent out invitations, Snider stresses that the public is welcome to purchase a ticket and attend the event.

Members of the Roundup Board look forward to the February gala and hope to give the 75th version of the Roundup a fitting kickoff.

"The Crooked River Roundup is a chance to experience a rodeo and horse races in a real-life Western town where real cowboys still live, work and play," said Jason Snider, Crooked River Roundup President. "We're excited to build momentum for our 75th Roundup with a party in the Cowboy Capital of Oregon."


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