Top-5 Rodeo Events in Oklahoma: Discovering Western Heritage


The history of the modern big-money rodeo in America dates back to the mid-19th century when Texas became part of the United States. Then the culture of the American Wild West appeared with vaqueros and bulls. Rodeo originated in Mexico, when male ranch workers called vaqueros gathered to see who could handle the most high-spirited horse, or who was the surest hand with a rope. These casual meetings grew into tournaments between ranches, attracting ever-larger audiences and taking on a festival atmosphere—the sound of hooves, the ferocious roars of the crowd, the scents of perspiration and excitement. All of them were united by sports passion, spirit of rivalry, courage, and lifestyle. Initially, rodeo had no official rules and spectators did not have to pay a dime, making the event an accessible and entertaining way to spend time for avid fans.

The best way to partake in cowboy passions is to go on fast-paced rodeo competitions in Oklahoma. US residents as well as travelers from around the world have an opportunity to experience the thrill of traditional rodeo and horsemanship activities. Annually celebrated Oklahoma rodeo festivals include exciting bull riding, spectacular steer wrestling, engaging calf roping, and breathtaking bronco riding. 

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Come get in touch with the Western legacy at one of the best Oklahoma rodeo events! A rental car in OKC Airport will allow you to quickly and comfortably get to the most anticipated cowboy culture festivals in Oklahoma gathering avid riders and devoted fans. Those traveling with kids or friends may need a large SUV or van with a big passenger capacity and more cabin space. A solo traveler or couple can choose a compact or midsize rental car at Oklahoma Airport which is more budget-friendly. If you want to get off the beaten path and explore Native America’s hidden corners, then a four-wheel drive pickup truck makes a great rodeo touring companion for you. Most car rentals in Oklahoma provide under-25 and long-term rental options, as well as special loyalty programs to make your driving experience as best as possible. 

Below you can learn the top list of the rodeo events officially recognized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

Atoka Trail Riders Rodeo

Come and experience the thrill of bull and bronc riding at Atoka Arena! This event will bring together everyone, avid rodeo fans, beginners, and even the youngest spectators. During the rodeo, you will be able to enjoy the following activities:

  • Bull and bareback riding
  • Barrel racing
  • Peewee barrels
  • Breakaway and team roping
  • Steer wrestling.
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Kids can try their hands at PeeWee and Junior Barrel Racing or enjoy plenty of other funny-man entertainments.

PBR Freedom Fest

If you want to be part of the world-class Western heritage celebrations, then PBR Freedom Fest is waiting for you! The three-day exciting festival at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City will give you a lot of drive and unforgettable sensations. This is a top-level event featuring elite riders of worldwide fame. They will try to survive as long as possible on the most dangerous and toughest bulls. Spectators will also enjoy pyrotechnics shows and rock’n`roll music. The ticket prices start from $30 per person.

Cherokee Strip IPRA Rodeo

Spend two dynamic days immersing yourself in the vibrant Western culture by attending the Cherokee Strip IPRA Rodeo. This annual event will impress you with a top-notch saddle bronc competition where top riders will try to stay on a bucking horse. You will also be a witness of the riding of bucking bulls, team roping, and popular steer wrestling performance. While you’re in Perry, be sure to stop by the food kiosks to try some traditional Texas food, such as chicken fried steak, chili con carne, and pecan pie.

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Red River Ranch Round-Up Rodeo

The Red River Rodeo is the formula for a successful weekend. Have you ever dreamed of becoming a rancher? At this event, you will learn all the details of ranch management, including breeding and pinning of wild cows, caring for horses, and other administrative issues. Red River Ranch also hosts horse rivalry and youth rodeo. Visitors will become a witness of the rodeo queen’s choosing, a cowgirl, and an ambassador of the Western lifestyle. 

Hope House Ranch Rodeo

Once a year, McAlester becomes the center of spectacular rodeo events, attracting families from locals and tourists alike. The organizers have prepared many cheerful activities for you, such as wild cow milking, treating pastures, and driving. The youngest rodeo fans will be able to take part in the calf scramble. The rodeo takes place in Kiamichi Country Cowboy Church, McAlester, OK.  

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