Illinois Gay Rodeo Association hosts annual Windy City Rodeo, August 22-24

Wed. August 13, 2008 12:00 AM

Chicago, IL - Cowboys and Cowgirls from across the United States and Canada will convene in the Chicagoland area August 22-24 to participate in Windy City Rodeo 2008, the 12th annual IGRA sanctioned rodeo hosted by the Illinois Gay Rodeo Association (ILGRA). Proceeds from the rodeo will benefit three local charities: Howard Brown Health Center, Vital Bridges, and Direct Aid.

The rodeo will be held Saturday, August 23nd and Sunday, August 24th at Six Guns Ranch & Arena located at 26926 South Stateline Road in Crete, IL (approximately 45 minutes southeast of downtown Chicago). Admission is $15 per person per day, and tickets may be purchased at the gate. Parking is free. The rodeo is a rain or shine event.

Festivities begin with Grand Entry ceremonies at 12:00 noon on both Saturday and Sunday. The performance consists of 13 events including traditional rodeo events: barrel racing, flag race, pole bending, bull riding, bareback bronc riding, steer riding, chute dogging, team roping, mounted breakaway roping, calf roping on foot. In addition, there are three events unique to gay rodeo competitions: steer decorating, goat dressing, and the wild drag race. The arena is an open-air rodeo ring with bleacher seating. A vendor mall, complete with food, beer, mixed drinks, western apparel, and rodeo memorabilia is located on the rodeo grounds. An outdoor dance and entertainment tent will also be featured.

For those living in the city, shuttle buses to the rodeo grounds in Crete are being organized by a number of local sponsors. Just $25 gets you transportation to and from the rodeo grounds and admittance into the rodeo. Buses will leave at 10:00 a.m. and return at 7:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. A complete list of shuttle sponsors and pick-up locations will be posted at

For those coming from out of town, the host hotel for Windy City Rodeo 2008 is the Doubletree Hotel in Alsip, Illinois (located at 5000 West 127th Street). When making reservations, please call the hotel directly at (708) 371-7300. Be sure to mention the Windy City Rodeo (group code WCR) to get the special room rate of $89 a night (plus tax).

Windy City Rodeo 2008 sponsors include Bud Light, @ Properties, Charlie's Chicago, Salon Michael, Alcala's Western Wear, Nightspots Magazine, Gay Chicago Magazine, Crew Bar + Grill, Club Krave, Touché, Jackhammer, The Windy City Empire, ID Lubricants, Campit Resort, Towle Community Theater, Susan Tatnall, and Chicago Charter Express.

The weekend's activities kick off on Thursday, August 21, with the annual FAHOOTCHED! Bar Crawl. The shuttle bus for this fun filled evening starts at Charlie's Chicago (3726 N. Broadway) at 7:00 p.m. and makes several stops at ILGRA's favorite drinking establishments including Crew Bar & Grill, Jackhammer, and Touché before returning to Charlie's after midnight.

Alongside the rodeo, ILGRA's Royalty is sponsoring "The Great Chicago Duck Hunt." All summer long and at the rodeo, royalty is selling small, numbered rubber ducks. At the end of each day's rodeo, matching ducks will be scattered around the arena. Purchasers will have 5 minutes to find one of their ducks. The first person to find his/her numbered duck wins a package of cash and prizes valued at over $500. If no one finds his/her numbered duck, the cash portion of the prize is added to the money being donated to the 2008 charity partners. A duck will then be drawn for the prize portion of the package. In the event of a drawing, you do not have to be present to win. Ducks are $5 each, or five for $20.

As always, volunteers are vital to a successful rodeo event. People interested in joining the fun, please contact Sean McGill at

For more information regarding the rodeo weekend and activities, please visit the rodeo website at