THE annual Mareeba Rodeo festival is in full swing, jam packed with festivities leading up to Rodeo weekend on July 13 and 14.
On Saturday the Junior Cowpokes competition kicked off the festival program at Kerribee Park. The day saw lots of enthusiastic juniors rolling up to take part.
The Cowpokes is a chance for the littlies to be involved with the spirit of the Rodeo by dressing up in western gear and being assessed on their personality and conversation skills.
Local country music talent and dancers entertained the large crowd in attendance and the huge cent sale proved a big drawcard for locals and visitors. Mareeba Rodeo Secretary Lee-Anne Brown said the Cowpokes was a great opportunity for the kids to gain some experience as these same little girls might go on and be future rodeo queen entrants in years to come.
The junior section, made up of kids aged 5 to 8 years, was won by Samuel Morris while Tiana Tiraboschi was selected as the girl winner. The senior section made up of youngsters aged 9 to 13 years was won by Riley Mc-Neill and Chloe Boundy.
The four winners will now attend official rodeo festivities during the next week and bit and will also feature in the monster down town parade on Friday July 12.
Coming up this Friday night is the Mareeba Rodeo Ball, while Monday will see the garden competition presentation and start of the art exhibition, just to name a few.
The Mareeba Rodeo is one of the most anticipated events on the FNQ social calendar and thousands of spectators are expected to flow through gates of Kerribee Park next weekend.