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PBR Pro Challenger Tour coming soon

A bull rider at last year's professional rodeo hangs on during a ride. This year's rodeo is July 1-3. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Challenger Tour Bull Ride will return to Park Rapids July 1-3 celebrating 32 years of professional rodeo. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the action starting at 6:30 p.m. - rain or shine.

"For our 32nd annual, we are pulling out all the stops," said Randy Jokela, "The great bulls will be here." He expects to end up with at least six stock contractors, including the famous Berger bulls out of Mandan, N.D.

"We lease their bulls and after our event, they go on to Cheyenne, Calgary and other big events," he said.

A line-up of great bulls attracts the best contestants, Jokela said. The three-day event offers between 40 and 50 rides a night.

Park Rapids has become a legendary location. "It's the one they love coming to over the Fourth. It's not hot and it's a spot they've got to hit if they're going to win big money on the way to other events like Calgary," Randy said.

Bull riding is not the only extreme sport at the event. This year those high-flying, back-flippin' wild and crazy Moto X riders will be back to thrill the audience.

There were more than 90 Challenger Tours in the United States last year and this year there are 140.

After intermission, kids ages 5-7 who want to grow up to be cowboys, have their chance for eight seconds of fame - or longer - on a sheep in the popular amateur event. Spots are already filling up. Call 732-5587 to enter.

And each night, after the show is over, the top regional band "Switch" will play a variety of music for nightly dances in the Montana Pavilion on the grounds featuring a beer garden. VIP seats are available again this year.

For more information, and to order tickets online go to

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561