For some, Lynden was their first rodeo. Here’s what they thought

The Northwest Washington Fair is back in Lynden and so is the rodeo.

The Lynden Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association held the first of two rodeos at the fair on Tues., Aug. 13. The annual event is in its 15th year.

Tuesday was “Tough Enough To Wear to Wear Pink” night at the rodeo so many of the cowboys and cowgirls working in the rodeo wore pink in support of cancer awareness and research. The rodeo raised over $2,000 in donations, according to the rodeo’s announcer Jody Carper.

It was also an event that hosted some of the top-ranked competitors in the professional rodeo circuit, which was one of the draws for rodeo fan Jordan Pace.

“I like team roping the best,” Pace said. “Some of the of these guys are the best in the world, and I like watching that.”

For Jeff Howard, a five-time rodeo attendee, going to the Lynden PRCA rodeo is simply tradition.

“This is the only rodeo I have ever been to,” Howard said. “It’s just a tradition for me.”

Spectators watch the first night of the rodeo at the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden Tuesday night. Lacey Young The Bellingham Herald

About 5,000 people are expected to attend the rodeo between Tuesday and Wednesday nights, according to Selena Burgess, rodeo coordinator. Burgess said she hopes people come to the rodeo to experience something new and leave the fair Lynden rodeo fans.

For Michelle Davis, this was her first rodeo. She said she was there to be with friends and was a little nervous about watching such a physical sport.

“It’s kinda scary,” said Davis. “I don’t want to see anyone get hurt.”

Other rodeo fans echoed this sentiment. Ashlee Evans said “You’re afraid everyone is going to get a concussion... that’s all I really think about.”

Injuries are a reality at any rodeo. But for Melany Moyer, rodeo night is all about having fun.

“It’s so much fun,” Moyer said, “I love the enthusiasm and excitement. I love the clowns. I love mutton bustin’.”

The sun sets over the rodeo at The Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden Tuesday night. Lacey Young The Bellingham Herald

Mutton bustin’ is an event for young cowboys and cowgirls at the rodeo. Kids, weighing under 50 pounds, compete to see who can ride a bucking sheep the longest. Children under 10 are admitted to the rodeo for free and release forms to participate in mutton bustin’ can be found online.

The rodeo offers a variety of events such as bull riding, barrel racing, team roping, mutton bustin’ and more. A full list of events and explanations of the rules can be found online.

The rodeo starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, and it’s military appreciation night. Tickets can be purchased online.

Warren Sterling in a graduate of Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. He interned at Politifact.com before joining The Bellingham Herald as a summer 2019 intern.