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'It took a village': Kuna gears up for its first rodeo since 1949

Posted at 2:43 PM, Sep 02, 2022

KUNA, Idaho — The people of Kuna have been calling for a rodeo for years. Now, for the first time since 1949, Kuna will host a rodeo this Friday and Saturday night.

"A year hasn't gone by that I get multiple calls wondering why Kuna doesn’t have a rodeo," said Chris Engels, the Kuna City Clerk. "Four years ago we started working towards it."

But they needed a venue. That is where Cody and Lini Chytka came in as the rodeo will happen at this families Crooked 8 Ranch, their daughter Peyton will carry the Kuna banner on horseback during the Rodeo.

"We hope we don’t disappoint, we have spent a lot of time trying to get the ground right and going through all the minor details," said Cody. "Hats off to my wife and all of our friends because it has taken a village to put this thing together."

Rodeo is a family sport, and carrying on western tradition and culture is important in this community. Fans were originally going to have to sit on berms, that's when the Eagle Rodeo entered the picture and donated their bleachers to the Kuna Rodeo, which seat 2,500 people.

"Almost all of their committee members have been here four or five times sweating out in the sun with us to help put it all together," said Cody. "So hats off to the Eagle Rodeo committee, they are just saints."

The Eagle Rodeo is working to find a new venue as their grounds in Avimor are being replaced with another subdivision in that area, they hold their rodeo in June.

The Idaho Cowboy Association holds rodeos in small towns all through out the year and even though it is the first time Kuna has hosted a rodeo in 73 years, the ICA has more cowboys and cowgirls coming to compete than in any other rodeo so far in 2022.

"It has been such a team effort we have sold over 2,300 tickets so far my office has been pumping them out all day," said Engels. "On top of that we want our community to talk to us, let us know what you are looking for because we want to hear you."

The pre-rodeo starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Crooked 8 Ranch, organizers asked us to pass on a message that people can access Meridian Road off King Road and that is the best way to enter the grounds.

Saturday will also include a full day of action that starts at 11 a.m. with a special needs rodeo, vendors will be on site and the main event starts at 7:30 p.m.

The Crooked 8 Ranch will also host another festival on September 16-17, featuring music and other events.