The Manawa Midwestern Rodeo wrapped up action with a full slate of events on Saturday including two rodeo performances, capping off another successful year of welcoming in riders from all over the country. In attendance was Katelin Bradley, she was Miss Rodeo Wisconsin 2017. While Bradley gets a chance to attend rodeos from all over Wisconsin, she says she always looks forward to Manawa.
“The Midwestern Rodeo in Manawa is always a great one to come to” Bradley said. “I have been here the last four years in different roles and this time I am here as Miss Rodeo Wisconsin and it is just a great time.”
The Midwestern Rodeo is also the largest fundraisers of the year for the Manawa Lions club. The club does a 50/50 raffle and then use those proceeds to donate to other clubs and organizations in the Manawa area.
“A ticket is drawn during each performance” says Pat Breitenfeldt from the Manawa Lions. “We also have a big board that we are constantly communicating so we can tell people how much the pot is.” The total from Friday night exceeded $8,000.
Many vendors and other non-profit agencies also have been taking advantage of the large crowds in Manawa. Kevin Gunderson is a representative of Heroes on the Water for the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter.
“There are 87 chapters nation wide. There is one chapter in Madison and one in Milwaukee” Gunderson said. “I just started the chapter in Northeast Wisconsin. All proceeds and donations go back to the organization to buy and provide equipment to take disabled veterans fishing.”
With years of traditions built in place, many have become mainstays at the Manawa Rodeo. Tim Wandtke still volunteers his time and has been a Manawa Rodeo fan for years. As they say, this is not his first rodeo.
“My family has been in the Rodeo City Riders Horse Club for decades. I have two aunts who have been rodeo queens and a cousin that was a rodeo queen and my mom was a princess.” Wandtke said. “We have just always come down here to support the city of Manawa’s number one activity.”
Wandtke says many years of returning to the rodeo has led to him noticing many families who make the event special each year. Some of those families include local businesses.
You talk about the many in this town who have contributed and of course the lions club.”
Through the years, Wandtke says the rodeo has advanced to a well-known event and says it is always exciting to come back to see how things have changed.
“They are professional cowboys. This is the number one rodeo in the State and they are all PRCA members.”
Wandtke participated in rodeos when he was younger, but now is just a rodeo fan.
Overall the city of Manawa was buzzing over the weekend with good food and musical entertainment. Organizers say the event was once again a success.