News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Rodeo season kicks off in Sisters

The mood Saturday night was festive when a few hundred party-goers joined in the annual Sisters Rodeo Kickoff Party held under a tent on the patio of Sisters Saloon. Many were huddled near the portable heaters as temperatures dipped quickly with the setting sun.

Dry Canyon Stampede band played in the background while cowboys and cowgirls of all stripes donned Western wear, enjoyed libations, and caught up on plans for the 84th rodeo scheduled for June 5-9 at the rodeo grounds east of town.

The queen, Destiny Wecks, was there. Wecks was born and raised in the Western way of life on a horse ranch in Joseph, Oregon. She is a graduate from Enterprise High School and is currently furthering her education, pursuing an Associates Degree in Agriculture Business, at Treasure Valley Community College.

Like many a little girl's dream, Wecks' became reality when she held her first rodeo queen title at the age of six as Miss Rodeo Oregon Sweetheart and has not looked back. In 2015 she held the title of Jr Miss Rodeo Oregon, served as 2020-2021 Chief Joseph Days Rodeo Queen, as well as Oregon High School Rodeo 1st Attendant in 2020-2021, and most recently held the title of the 2022 Miss Teen Rodeo Oregon.

When not in the show ring, she is in the rodeo arena. Wecks won the Junior Rodeo Senior Girls All Around title in 2020 by competing in goats, barrels, poles, break-away roping, and her favorite event, steer riding.

The evening began with Sisters Rodeo Board President Scott Talerico welcoming the crowd. He then introduced each board member who identified their respective jobs in putting on the rodeo affectionately called the "Biggest Little Show In The World."

Also introduced were 2024 Grand Marshals, Ernest and Alinda Dunn. The Dunns are said to epitomize the essence of community spirit and dedication, as evidenced by their remarkable journey intertwined with the Sisters Rodeo Association. (See related story, page 1). Fond memories of organizing parades with upwards of 110 entries attest to their passion for community engagement and friendly competition.

While neither competed in rodeo events during their youth, their love for the sport burgeoned from countless hours spent watching rodeos in Salem. This admiration deepened over the years, fueling their dedication to the Sisters Rodeo Association.

Cole Perkins and his date, Leeann Riley, both from Prineville, summed up the evening.

"You just can't get enough rodeo," Perkins said. "We did the Redmond (High Desert) Stampede a couple of weeks ago and it was a whopper, but the Sisters Rodeo... that just feels more of what rodeo means for small town folk."

"We love the feel in Sisters," Riley added. "We're basically strangers here and yet everybody treats us like family. Rodeo is really just one big family I guess."


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