There are more places in Idaho that can be described as “a little place at the bend in the road” than any other state. Small towns dot the state like just the right amount of pepper across the top of a perfectly fluffy baked potato, and that’s just the way we like it. In fact, to a large number of Idahoans, it’s one of the main reasons we love this place!
The little town of Council just happens to be one of those places. Straddling Hwy 95 through central Idaho, and tucked into the corner of the Payette National Forest, the little town counts its population in the hundreds. It’s a small town with a bit of this and that, but it boasts two big things:
Council is very proud of Matt Paradis, their hometown boy who plays center for the Denver Broncos. At 6’3″, 300 lbs., Paradis is the biggest man in town, now sporting a very large ring. It’s fair to say he’s a pretty big deal around there, and his family is all a part of the other biggest thing in town.
Every summer, the Adams County Rodeo takes up residence in the county fairgrounds on the east side of the highway and does it in a very big way. Council is all about ranching, so the town takes the rodeo very seriously, providing a performance packed full of chances for their locals to demonstrate their skills alongside the very best in the state. It’s a small town, but it isn’t necessarily a small town rodeo. It’s a big deal.
There’s something for everyone at the Adams County Rodeo. There’s an entire day for the littlest cowboys and cowgirls, kicking off Thursday with the “Jr Rodeo Play Day”, consisting of events for kids all evening. The tiniest of the PeeWees make their way through poles, and around barrels, complete with goats, sheep, and their favorite horses. From there, the ages range up to the Senior class who competes in events that look pretty much like the grown-ups, but with a twist here and there. There’s a full slate of prizes and a ton of fun, offering young ones not only a chance to show off but learn and hone their skills.
Friday and Saturday evening, the action ramped up with the finest stock from Superior Rodeo Co., and the professional rodeo athletes of the Idaho Cowboy’s Association. The highlight might have been Justin Quint winning the Ranch Broncs on Saturday night, covering Night Moves from the High Desert Rough Stock string for 82. Roughstock gets better and better in Idaho, with ground money being paid on a regular basis, so a rider who bests the beasts has truly given the crowd a show. Council got that this year, for sure.
Even the main rodeo performances offer something for everyone, giving the juniors further chances at prizes and notoriety. Not only mutton busting, but calf riding, steer riding, and barrels are part of the main action, along with novice roughstock as well. The Adams County Rodeo is an all-out marathon, lasting far longer into the night than what one is accustomed to, but by the time the last bull was headed for the door, the stands were still full of people. Rodeo is a big, big deal in Council.
Did I mention that the Paradis family is a big part of making the rodeo in Council happen? Some of them are on the committee and some of them are contestants, but they are integral to the Adams County Rodeo. They’re not as big as Matt, but he deals with a different sort of Bronco anyway. There’s some big stuff in that small town, and they know how to do it right.