Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 8:05 pm | Fair 49º


Local News

Santa Maria Set to Kick Off Rodeo Season

The 72nd annual Santa Maria Elks Rodeo season kicks off this week with the formal introduction of the four candidates vying to be queen and the last chance for men to enter the whisker-growing contest. 

The Rodeo Queen Kickoff Dinner and Auction, set for Saturday, marks the official start of the season and the first public introduction of the candidates.

The four candidates and their sponsoring organizations are:

» Righetti High School junior Jasmine Rodriguez, Guadalupe Kiwanis Club

» Arroyo Grande High School graduate Taelor Janes, Santa Maria Noontimers Lions

» Orcutt Academy High School sophomore Taylor Glines, VTC Enterprises

» Righetti High junior Sarai Calderon, Your Orcutt Youth Organization

Doors at the Santa Maria Elks Lodge, 1309 N. Bradley Road, will open at 5 p.m. Saturday for no-host cocktails. A traditional Santa Maria-style meal prepared by the Elks barbecue team will be served at 6 p.m., followed by a live auction. The event also will feature a silent auction, dessert auction and dancing.

Tickets are $30 and are available at the Elks Recreation Inc. Office inside the Elks Lodge, or by calling 805.925.4125. 

The queen contestants and their sponsoring organizations will raise money in the bid to become be crowned queen.

In the decades since the contest has been held, queen contestants raised more than $10.5 million, which has funded youth recreation projects and other programs in northern Santa Barbara County.

Friday at 5 p.m. is the deadline for a second hallmark event of rodeo season — the final day to sign up for Beard-A-Reno, an annual whisker-growing contest. Clean-shaven men began entering the competition in early February.

Belt buckles and bragging rights will go to the winners in a dozen categories such as longest beard, blackest beard, whitest beard, reddest beard, best goatee, best mustache, best sideburns, best attempt, wildest, best western characterization, and best all-around.

The Beard-A-Reno dinner will be at 5:30 p.m. May 23 the Elks Lodge. The $20 registration fee includes the barbecue beef rib meal.

The Elks Rodeo is May 28-31 at the Santa Maria Elks/Unocal Event Center with Thursday and Friday performances planned for 7 p.m., Saturday’s set for 6 p.m. and Sunday’s at 2 p.m.

The queen will be crowned during the Friday night event. 

The annual parade is planned for 9 a.m. May 30, with sign-ups under way for what’s expected to be more than 200 entries traveling south on Broadway.

For a full list of upcoming events, including team roping sign-ups and more, go to the Elks Rec website by clicking here.

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.

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