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The St. Paul trail ride, which is the kickoff to the rodeo season, begins at 10 a.m.

COURTESY PHOTO - The trail ride is at 10 a.m. June 4.A long-time tradition preceding the St. Paul Rodeo takes place this weekend.

The annual Trail Ride, the kick-off to the rodeo season, will be held on June 3. The ride begins at 10 a.m., starting in St. Paul, winding through farmland, along hop fields, to the Willamette River, then back to town.

The ride kicks off with a breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage and locally grown strawberries. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 12 and under.

After the ride, trail riders can eat a free lunch in the Tack Room. St. Paul resident and long-time rodeo volunteer Paul Charron has been one of the volunteers making trail ride lunches for the last 15 years. He and his wife Kathleen used to do the trail ride, but fixing lunch for several hundred people requires him to forgo the ride and concentrate on sandwiches. "I enjoyed the ride," he said, "but especially the camaraderie with the people. You meet a lot of nice people." Seeing the country while on horseback is part of the allure of the trail ride, Charron said. "You get to see a lot of beautiful scenery, sit on the back of a horse in the warm sun, get away from the city, get out and have fun."

Additionally, a free youth rodeo is at 10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

The trail ride is "a great weekend event and a great lead into the rodeo," Charron said. But he'll be in the kitchen with his crew of volunteers, making sandwiches and getting potato chips and potato salad ready to go for riders. "That's our thanks for coming out," he said.

The ride is free and open to the public.

This year's St. Paul Rodeo is July 3-7; tickets are on sale online at www.StPaulRodeo.com. For more information, visit the website or call 800-237-5920.

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