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Thursday, March 21 , 2019, 4:05 pm | Mostly Cloudy 57º

 
 
 
 

Media Members Get Schooled For Rodeo Clown Gigs

Santa Maria Elks Rodeo ready to kick off four-day run Thursday night

Rachel Hernandez applies clown makeup to temporary radio clown Jessie Chavez from Sunny Country radio. Chavez attended media clown school and will perform at the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo this weekend. Click to view larger
Rachel Hernandez applies clown makeup to temporary radio clown Jessie Chavez from Sunny Country radio. Chavez attended media clown school and will perform at the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo this weekend. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The clowns were plentiful at the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo grounds on Tuesday afternoon.

Members of the media were invited to become clowns for this weekend’s rodeo, with school held Tuesday at the Santa Maria Elks/Uncal Event Center.

“I wanted to be part of the cool clown club,” Jessie Chavez, one half of Jay and Jessie In the Morning on Sunny Country 102.5 FM radio station, said of her decision to become a clown. 

“Anything you can do to be involved in the rodeo a good thing,” she added, speaking with oversized red mouth while wearing baggy pants held up by suspenders and a red hat touting “sheriff.”

After taking lessons from Robbie Hodges, rodeo clown and barrel man, on the art of placing barrels, carrying sponsor flags and more, the clowns earned diplomas confirming their new skills.

The Santa Maria Elks Rodeo opens its four-day run Thursday with a 7 p.m. performance of the Wrangler Champions Challenge Rodeo at the event center.

“The Champions Challenge is the best of the best,” said Donna Keffeler, representative of national rodeo sponsor Coors.

PRCA’s Tanner Ward, corporate partnership manager, had praise for Elks Rodeo organizers as the event gets set to host its first Champions Challenge.

“You never get a second change to make a first impression,” Ward said, adding that he was “blown away” to see the grounds. 

Sunny Country personality Jay Turner reacts while getting rodeo clown makeup applied during media clown school Tuesday as part of the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo, which opens Thursday night. Click to view larger
Sunny Country personality Jay Turner reacts while getting rodeo clown makeup applied during media clown school Tuesday as part of the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo, which opens Thursday night. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“I really cannot wait to see the rodeo unfold,” he added.

The Champions Challenge will air on CBS Sports on June 10, rodeo officials noted. 

Friday’s performance starts at 7 p.m., with Saturday’s rodeo kicking off at 6 p.m. The final day, Sunday, action gets underway at 2 p.m. 

The Santa Maria rodeo will serve as a fundraiser for Cowboys Kickin’ Cancer, an effort to get money to help families who have children with cancer.

During the rodeo, organizers will pass a pink boot to collect donations, hoping to top last year’s $8,000. 

Before each performance, pre-rodeo concerts are planned, with Josh Gracin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, The Railers at 5:30 p.m. Friday, J.D. Hardy at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and The Molly Ringwald Project at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

After the rodeo Sunday, Mariachi Lobos will perform. 

The Elks Rodeo Parade will travel south on Broadway between Main Street and Enos Drive, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.

For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets online, go to the website.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Lalo Silva from American General Media tells a joke, prompting laughter from colleagues Denis “Catfish” Miller and Jay Turner during the start of media clown school for the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo, which opens its four-day run Thursday. Click to view larger
Lalo Silva from American General Media tells a joke, prompting laughter from colleagues Denis “Catfish” Miller and Jay Turner during the start of media clown school for the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo, which opens its four-day run Thursday. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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