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INDEPENDENT FILE PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - St. Paul RodeoFourth of July weekend is arguably incomplete with a trip to St. Paul.


Every Fourth of July holiday, the town of 400 swells to 1,000 times its population.

Visitors swarm into the town to enjoy PRCA rodeo (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association), a Wild West Art Show, the Great Western Barbecue Cookoff, the Tack Room Saloon, a carnival and a half-dozen other events.

It all began in 1935 when eight local farmers and businessmen came up with the idea for the St. Paul RINDEPENDENT FILE PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - St. Paul Rodeo clownodeo. The city park was used for the arena and local farmers, including the first president of the St. Paul Rodeo Association Willie Smith, used horses from their farms for bucking horses.

Now, 80-plus years later, the St. Paul Rodeo is a Gold Tour Stop among the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour Rodeo Series. This past year, the St. Paul Rodeo paid out more than $400,000 to the winning cowboys and cowgirls. Many world champions, current and past, have competed in St. Paul on their way to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

While the rodeo event itself is enough to draw the crowds, visitors can also enjoy fireworks following each night's performance, western art, barbecue, chicken dinners, strawberry shortcake, a Fourth of July parade and more.

The 2016 event is June 30 through July 4, starting with the Professional Bull Riding event June 30 and nightly rodeo performances July 1-4. A matinee rodeo performance takes pINDEPENDENT FILE PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - The carnival at St. Paul Rodeolace at 1:30 p.m. July 4.

Tickets, priced from $16-$26, are available at or by calling 800-237-5920.

Schedule of events:

June 30:

11 a.m. — Carnival opens

5 p.m. — Celebrity bartender night at the Tack Room Saloon

7:30 p.m. — Professional Bull Riders Tour, with fireworks following the show.

StPaulRodeo.com

July 1:

3 p.m. — Carnival opens

4 p.m. — Wild West Art Show opens

4 p.m. — Tack Room Saloon opens

7:30 p.m. — Rodeo performance, with fireworks following the show

July 2:

11 a.m. — Carnival opensINDEPENDENT FILE PHOTO: AARON KEEFER - Wild West Art Show hosts all kinds of Western art at the Rodeo.

2 p.m. — Wild West Art Show opens

2:30 p.m. — Tack Room Saloon opens

7:30 p.m. — Rodeo performance, with fireworks following the show

July 3:

11 a.m. — Carnival opens

2 p.m. — Wild West Art Show opens

2:30 p.m. — Tack Room Saloon opens

7:30 p.m. — Rodeo performance, with fireworks following the show

July 4:

10 a.m. — Fourth of July Parade begins

11 a.m. — Carnival opens

11 a.m. — Great Western BBQ Cookoff

11 a.m. — Wild West Art Show opens

noon — Tack Room Saloon opens

1:30 p.m. — Matinee rodeo performance

7:30 p.m. — Rodeo performance, with fireworks following the show

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