California Rodeo Basics:
- The California Rodeo is held in July, in Salinas.
- California Rodeo website
- Admission is charged. See below for more details about tickets
The Salinas Sports Complex include the main arena with three grandstands, a racetrack and a carnival midway.
A lot of people attend the rodeo, and as you might expect, it's more crowded on weekends than during the week.
California Rodeo Tips:
Likes and Dislikes:
Activities at the California Rodeo:
California Rodeo competitions take place over four days, but the celebration goes on for a full week, with cowboy poetry readings, concerts and the Miss California Rodeo competition.
The rodeo events include saddle bronc riding, horse racing, bull and saddle bronc riding, bull fighting, roping, bareback riding, steer wrestling and a stick horse race for the kids. Every day has a theme, and raises money for local charities.
Food and drinks are available at the Saloon and the Bull X-ing Cantina. To get more of a sense of the rodeo's long history, you can visit the California Rodeo Heritage Museum, where you'll see vintage rodeo clothing and an authentic Wells Fargo stagecoach.
Rodeo-Related Events in Salinas:
These events are held nearby in Salinas (but not at the Sports Center). You'll find the schedule for them here.
- Rodeo Carnival (Sun Street)
- Colmo del Rodeo Parade (Old Town Salinas)
- Horse Parade (Downtown Salinas)
- Cowboy Shoot Out Golf Tournament (Salinas Golf and Country Club)
- Country Music Concerts (Salinas Municipal Stadium)
California Rodeo Seating:
The California Rodeo has four grandstands:
- West Grandstand: The biggest grandstand, with the best view of the whole arena. All seats have backs.
- North and South Grandstands: Facing the narrower ends of the arena. Some seats have backs. The upper sections of these stands are the lowest-priced.
- Northeast Arena Bleachers: A small section next to the bucking chutes, with a diagonal view of the arena. No seat backs.
California Rodeo Tickets and Reservations:
Tickets are available for a single day or the whole season. For the best seats, order your tickets early online or by telephone at 800-549-4989.
Anyone who occupies a seat must have a ticket, even small children, but children's tickets purchased online are about one-third of the adult price. Seniors can get a small discount if they buy online.
How to Get to the California Rodeo
The California Rodeo is held at the Salinas Sports Complex. From US Hwy 101, take Laurel Drive east to North Main Street and follow the signs.
The California Rodeo Salinas is one of the top 20 rodeos in the U.S. and draws the most competitive cowboys and cowgirls, who compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money. It also draws over 50,000 spectators.
If you want some ideas for something to do in Salinas besides the rodeo, check out this weekend getaway planner.
Whether the rodeo is something you'll enjoy depends in large part on how you feel about the sport. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association guidelines for stock welfare include more than 60 rules dealing with the care and treatment of animals and they say that proper treatment of the animals is documented by veterinarians. Check out About.com Rodeo guide Ralph Clark's interview with Steve Hindi of SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) for more perspective. You know your personal feelings about the subject and if you don't like the idea, you probably shouldn't go.