“If it’s worth doing right, it’s worth doing well. If it’s worth doing well, it’s worth doing again.”
The old man with the hammer in his hand believed it to be true when he told me this so many years ago, and apparently he isn’t alone. In fact, I think the folks at the Snake River Stampede have been abiding by this very concept for a very long time.
Back in 1913, the little town of Nampa, Idaho decided to add a little excitement to their Harvest Festival by adding a “bucking contest” to the festivities, bringing in rough stock and offering local riders the opportunity to show off for the assembled crowd. A section of the festival grounds was roped off, and the rides went on one by one, capturing the attention of the crowd and the community in general.
The contest was so popular, it was brought back again the following year at the Harvest Festival, and by the time 1915 rolled around, demand was high enough that admission had to be charged to run the event. The performances were organized, events added, and the bucking show took on a life of its own. Thus, that year was born a spectacle whichwould ultimately be deemed the “Snake River Stampede.”
Yes, if it was worth doing right, it was worth doing well, and the commitment and passion of the early directors saw to it that the little roped-off “sideshow” turned into the very best they could offer Nampa and surrounding areas. Over the next several years, the event turned into a full-fledged rodeo, with stock and production of ever increasing quality, pushing itself to the professional level within a few years. The committees sought to make continued improvements, constantly seeking to do well and to do better.
Having done well, the rodeo did it again. And again. And again. They’re still doing it, in fact, and this year (2015) marks the 100th anniversary of the Stampede’s existence as a rodeo event. There aren’t but a scarce few professional rodeos that can claim a heritage that spans as long as the Stampede’s, and fewer still that occupy the same rarified air of premiere-level rodeos. The Stampede has managed to continuously grow and improve, from a humble, roped-off addition to becoming one of the top 10 professional rodeos in the country, boasting a $400,000 payoff, and consistently attracting the best competitors in the world.
A centennial event is worth a celebration, and the Stampede is ready to offer just that, bring rodeo festivities full-circle, right back to the community where it started. The very first bucking contest was held near the corner of 11th Avenue and 2nd Street South, where the Post Office currently stands, and before the Stampede kicks off performances for the hundredth time, they will be bringing the Festival back to Downtown Nampa, a mere two blocks from where it all started.This time, though, they’re taking the 10th and 11th of July and celebrating heritage and tradition with music, barbecue, activities, a dance and as much fun as they can pack onto the streets of Downtown! It is only fitting for the Stampede to bring the celebration back right where it all began, and although there won’t be bucking stock on the pavement, a hundred years worth of the wildest, fastest show on earth is bound to bring back memories, and maybe even the ghosts of performances past.
Lest it get lost in the hoopla, the Stampede itself is ready to bring back the best of what has made it the best, including Cervi Championship Rodeo Company stock, the comforts of the Ford Idaho Center, and back in the barrel this year, Stampede legend Leon Coffee! All in all, this shapes up to be a year to be remembered, and should capture the attention of not only the Treasure Valley, but the professional rodeo community as a whole.
The old guy was right about doing things well, and he was just as right about doing them again. Fortunately, the Stampede folks seem to have taken his advice for a century now, and it’s likely that they’ll just keep on doing it. They’ve pushed this annual Nampa event to the top ranks of professional rodeo, and it only looks to keep getting better. Let’s not get ahead of things, though — the 2015 edition hasn’t even begun yet. Let’s see what happens!
And don’t forget to get your Wrangler jeans at all D&B Supply stores. Great deals for great rodeo fans!