Summertime in the West

Summertime in the west generally means two things; fairs and rodeos.

The local Fair

Indeed, the county or state fair is not unique to the west. In fact, the first recognized state fair was in Syracuse, New York, in 1841.

Before 1841, a farmer in Massachusetts, along with a few of his neighbors, organized a cattle show in Pittsfield, MA in 1810. The show led to the development of the Berkshire Agricultural Society, which ultimately set the stage for the creation of the New York State Fair in 1841.

But by the very nature of showcasing farm and ranch living, livestock, and agricultural practices, the fair is commonly associated with a rural and cowboy lifestyle.

The Rodeo

A common co-feature of the Fair---especially in the West--- is the Rodeo.

A favorite legend about the beginnings of the rodeo is that it was born in Deer Trail, Colorado in 1869. Deer Trail, which is about 50 miles east of Denver, was the location of two large cattle ranches. The cowboys of these two ranches decided to put together a little competition to settle an argument over who was the best cowboy.

Other sources give credit for the evolution of the rodeo in America to the vaqueros of Mexico after the end of the U.S. – Mexican War in 1848. As the Spanish ranching influence spread throughout the West, local ranches would compete with each other for bragging rights. Many of these events became an annual event to showcase their top performers.

Nonetheless, the everyday duties of the cowboy were the focus of the competitions. Thus, breaking wild horses, roping stray cattle, and wrestling steers became the mainstays of the modern rodeo.

Join the Celebration.

These summertime events create an atmosphere that inspires us to decorate for the season. With the fair or rodeo coming to town, it’s time to pull out the western décor or don your favorite western wear and to become part of the celebration of these great American traditions.

Furthermore, summer also means barbecues, national celebrations, and lazy hours lounging in the sun. Are your home and yard ready? Spruce up your indoor/outdoor spaces with lighting ideas, table settings, and a wide selection of decorative touches big and small at Wild West Living.