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2021 Press Releases




ST PAUL AMBASSADOR

Justin McKee announces St. Paul Rodeo 
Media Contact:
Ruth Nicolaus
319-321-2152
For the St. Paul Rodeo
ST PAUL AMBASSADOR
Oklahoma cowboy announces the St. Paul Rodeo, is an advocate for the town

St. Paul, Ore. (June 14, 2021) – There’s an Okie native who loves Oregon nearly as much as he loves his home state.
Justin McKee has been in love with St. Paul and the St. Paul Rodeo for the nearly 20 years he’s come to town to announce the Nation’s Greatest 4th of July rodeo.

The 52-year-old rodeo announcer, a former TV announcer for the PBR and now host of a rodeo show on The Cowboy Channel, loves St. Paul because it reminds him of his hometown of Lenapah, Oklahoma, where he and his family lived until a year ago, when they moved to Texas.
But when he comes to the Northwest to help celebrate the St. Paul Rodeo, he’s an Oregonian and the biggest cheerleader St. Paul has.

McKee is well-known for his colorful commentary, what St. Paul Rodeo goers call “McKee-isms”: sayings like “as gritty as sand in your scrambled eggs”; “bucked off faster than the banker could tell me no”; “spinning like a weathervane in a hurricane”; and other comparisons.
He developed many of them while on TV as a PBR commentator. In rodeo, he had a different crowd every night, but on TV, it was often the same viewers every night. “When you’re on TV every week, you have to come up with new stuff,” McKee said. “That’s when I went stealing, creating, looking and always thinking” of new and different sayings.

He and his wife Jeannie are the parents of a 21-year-old daughter, Kassidy, who is the apple of her daddy’s eye. She’s a barrel racer, like her mother, and also served as the 2016 Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Teen.

McKee’s day job is as fulltime host for The Cowboy Channel, official network of the PRCA. He is producer of a show called ProRodeo Tonight, and it’s given him a platform to tell the stories of cowboys and cowgirls, to “paint pictures” in minds, he said.

During every performance of the rodeo, the St. Paul High School Booster Club delivers a serving of strawberry shortcake to the announcer’s stand, for McKee to eat while he’s announcing. “It’s a beautiful combination,” the Okie quipped. “The booster club wants to sell strawberry shortcake and I want to eat strawberry shortcake. It’s real simple.” He describes the deliciousness of the cake to the audience, and shortcake sales increase. “To repay my ability to drive business to their stand, they bring me strawberry shortcake. It’s a very fair trade.”

McKee loves rodeo but he especially loves St. Paul. “There’s an atmosphere of love of country and community that are important in St. Paul. There’s a great spirit, and maybe it’s the rodeo and the tradition. It’s a fun spirit.” “It’s magical.”

This year’s St. Paul Rodeo, which is the 85th edition, kicks off June 30 and runs through July 4 with nightly performances at 7:30 pm and a 1:30 pm matinee on July 4.

Tickets range in price from $20 to $26 and can be purchased online at StPaulRodeo.com. For more information, visit the website or call 800.237.5920.
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Cutline:
Oklahoma native Justin McKee leans out of the announcer’s stand as he calls the action at the St. Paul Rodeo. McKee, who has announced the rodeo for about two decades, loves the little town and all it and the rodeo stand for. Photo by Hoot Creek.





2021 St. Paul Rodeo Hall of Fame Inductees

Dan Ackley

Dan Ackley

Ivan Blosser

Ivan Blosser

Bob Hockett

Bob Hockett

Walt Miller

Walt Miller

Media Contact:
Ruth Nicolaus
319-321-2152
For the St. Paul Rodeo
CONTRIBUTING TO RODEO
Members, cowboys, artists, all make contributions to St. Paul Rodeo,
inducted into the Hall of Fame

St. Paul, Ore. (June 9, 2021) – The St. Paul Rodeo will induct four people in its 2021 Hall of Fame.
Those people are: Dan Ackley, in the timed event category; Ivan Blosser, in the St. Paul Rodeo membership category, Bob Hockett, notable, and Walt Miller, as a St. Paul Rodeo director/officer.

Dan Ackley, who passed away in 2018, was a resident of Prineville, Ore. before he and his late wife Judy moved to Rainier, Washington. He won the steer wrestling at the 1984 St. Paul Rodeo. He worked the timed event chutes at various PRCA rodeos across the Northwest and qualified for the National Finals Rodeo three times in the steer wrestling (1977-79). He also competed in the tie-down and team roping.

An accomplished wood and metal artist, he made beautiful hand-crafted furniture to sell at the Wild West Art Show, where his nickname was “The Mayor.” Dan’s late wife, Judy, who passed away last year, was a St. Paul Rodeo arena secretary and was inducted into the St. Paul Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2004.

Ivan Blosser, St. Paul, was an active St. Paul Rodeo member for nearly three decades, from the 1950s through the 1970s. He co-chaired the dance hall committee when the St. Paul Rodeo activities included a dance at the open-air pavilion, where the Bull Pen now stands. As a drummer in area bands, including a stint with the Woody Hite band, he played in bands for rodeo social parties.

During the rodeo, his primary job was working the gates as a ticket taker. He was a faithful volunteer with general work parties, and served on the queen and court committee, chaperoning St. Paul Rodeo royalty to various events around the state with his wife, Oma.
Blosser farmed, and the rodeo comes at a busy time for farmers. But he helped anyway. Volunteering was what community people did, said his daughter, Mary Jane Krier. Her parents “did whatever assignment they were given, as did so many other people in the community.”
Mary Jane and her husband Dr. David Krier chair the Wild West Art show; Ivan and Oma’s son Jon Blosser has been a volunteer with the Wild West Art Show for several years.

Blosser passed away in 1975.

Bob Hockett, an inductee in the notable category, was born in 1938 in Mt. Angel and, as an adult, moved to St. Paul to begin farming. In 1976, he and four other farmers formed Marion Ag Service. Two years later, he bought out the partners and continues to oversee its daily operations, even at the age of 82!

Hockett has contributed to St. Paul in a variety of quiet, understated ways. He has donated time and resources to St. Paul Elementary, the St. Paul Booster Club, the St. Paul Parochial School, and local 4-H and FFA chapters. He has, in the name of the Marion Ag Service, purchased fair animals, allowing the 4-H students to carry feed and expenses on interest-free credit at the store, paying their bills after the auction. He has been a very generous rodeo sponsor through the years.

He is humble, unassuming and quiet (unless he was at the microphone as the voice of the St. Paul Football team!) and does not enjoy the spotlight. However, his countless contributions have made the St. Paul community stronger.

His wife, Judy, passed away in 2010; he is married to Kathleen, a long-time rodeo member. They make their home in Woodburn.

Walter Miller was a St. Paul Rodeo officer from 1988-2000.

As a rodeo director, Miller was in charge of parking and security. A carpenter by trade, he worked on the facility and the grounds alongside his cousin, Bill Miller.

He was passionate about the rodeo and loved the social part of it, his son Matt Miller said. “He loved the people and being involved in the community. He loved rodeo in general.”

Matt grew up at the rodeo grounds and remembers the workdays scheduled for Father’s Day. While Matt helped paint the arena walls and chutes, Walt was helping with other things.

Jennifer Schurter, Walt’s daughter, remembers the St. Paul Rodeo as their vacation every summer. They would camp out in a borrowed motorhome across from the Tack Room, so Walt could be close to his “policing” duties. After the rodeo, he would make a lap around the arena, checking on the beer stations. It would take a long time for him to make a lap, Schurter said. He’d find people he knew “and he might spend ten minutes, or an hour, visiting with people.”

Miller is remembered as a happy-go-lucky guy, “the first guy with a big smile on his face when you’d see him,” said Sam McKillip, St. Paul Rodeo Association member. “We all liked Walt. He was easy to be around. He was fully invested in the St. Paul Rodeo.”

The Hall of Fame Barbecue honoring the Class of 2021 will be held June 29 at the St. Paul Rodeo arena. It begins at 5 pm. A meal will be served, with live and silent auctions. Auction proceeds benefit the St. Paul Rodeo Foundation.

Tickets for the Barbecue are $35 and are not available at the door; they must be purchased in advance. They can be purchased online at StPaulRodeo.com


This year’s rodeo is June 30-July 4, with performances each evening at 7:30 pm and a 1:30 pm matinee on July 4.
For more information, visit the website or call the rodeo office at 800.237.5920.

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Cutlines:
Dan Ackley, a 2021 inductee into the St. Paul Rodeo Hall of Fame, was a contestant, official and artist at the St. Paul Rodeo. His nickname in the Wild West Art tent was “The Mayor.”

Long-time St. Paul Rodeo member Ivan Blosser worked for nearly three decades on the rodeo, from the dance and queen committees to ticket taking. His son Jon and daughter and son-in-law Mary Jane and Dr. Krier continue his tradition.

Bob Hockett, a quiet and unassuming man, was instrumental behind the scenes at the St. Paul Rodeo and throughout the community.
Walter Miller was a St. Paul Rodeo director who used his talents as a carpenter to maintain and improve the grounds. He loved the social aspect of the rodeo and its people.

Walter Miller’s children enjoy a light moment with their dad in the Tack Room Saloon. Miller, a St. Paul Rodeo director, is a 2021 inductee into the rodeo’s Hall of Fame.



ST PAUL RODEO GRANTS ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIPS

Alexandra Hernandez

Alexandra Hernandez

Olivia Veeman

Olivia Veeman

Media Contact:
Ruth Nicolaus
319-321-2152
For the St. Paul Rodeo

ST PAUL RODEO GRANTS ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIPS
Newberg, St Paul residents headed to dentistry school with the help of the rodeo

St. Paul, Ore. (June 7, 2021) – Two young people have been awarded scholarships by the St. Paul Rodeo Foundation.

Alexandra Hernandez, St. Paul, and Olivia Veeman, Newberg, have each won $4,000 towards their higher education.
Hernandez, a 2021 graduate of St. Paul High School, played volleyball, basketball, and ran track throughout her high school career. She was part of her school’s FFA chapter, National Honor Society, DECA, Key Club, Health Occupation Club, and was editor in chief for her school’s yearbook.

Veeman, a 2021 graduate of Veritas School in Newberg, was part of the drama club, ran track and field for two of her high school years, and was part of the concert choir and yearbook club.

Both women were active as volunteers.

Hernandez helped with the St. Paul Blood Drive, was an altar server for the St. Mary Catholic Church, and was one of the managers for the St. Paul High School football team.

Veeman helped with Samaritan’s Purse Christmas shoeboxes, decorated Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital, and helped with Monday Meals, feeding the homeless.

Hernandez, who won the scholarship given to a St. Paul High School student, volunteered at the rodeo as part of the school’s booster club, parking cars and helping with set-up. She loves watching the barrel racing and the fireworks.

Veeman’s father, Dr. Richard Veeman, is the official veterinarian for the St. Paul Rodeo, and she and her brother have tagged along with their dad as he cared for animals at the rodeo.

Both women plan on going into the field of dentistry.

Hernandez will attend Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., to work towards her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. After that, she hopes to apply to dental school and become an orthodontist.

Hernandez has seen firsthand what a quality education is. Her cousins, who live in Mexico, “wish to go to school every day, and want a better education,” she said. “They have schools but the schools don’t have good education programs. That’s why college is so important to me. I have a lot of family that isn’t able to do things that we here in America are able to do.”

Veeman will attend Corban University in Salem, Ore. and eventually work towards a Doctor of Dental Medicine or Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Her interest lies towards dentistry, because, “it is important for people to eat, and a beautiful smile is always wonderful.”

Hernandez is the daughter of Jose and Rosa Hernandez; Veeman’s parents are Richard and Samara Veeman.

This year’s St. Paul Rodeo is June 30-July 4, with performances nightly at 7:30 pm and a matinee on July 4 at 1:30 pm. Tickets are on sale online at StPaulRodeo.com

For more information, visit the website or call 800.237.5920.

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Alexandra Hernandez, St. Paul, has been awarded a $4,000 scholarship from the St. Paul Rodeo Foundation. The 2021 St. Paul High School will be a student at Pacific University this fall.

Olivia Veeman, Newberg, is the recipient of a St. Paul Rodeo Foundation scholarship in the amount of $4,000. A 2021 graduate of Veritas School, she will attend Corban University this fall.



TICKETS ON SALE FOR GREATEST FOURTH OF JULY RODEO

by_hoot_creek

Boudreaux_Campbell - 2019 - St. Paul Rodeo

Media Contact:
Ruth Nicolaus
319-321-2152
For the St. Paul Rodeo
TICKETS ON SALE FOR
NATION’S GREATEST FOURTH OF JULY RODEO
St. Paul Rodeo set to break out of the chutes June 30-July 4

St. Paul, Ore. (June 3, 2021) – The fun is about to break out of the chutes at the St. Paul Rodeo!

For the 85th year, the Nation’s Greatest Rodeo will take place June 30-July 4, and tickets are on sale now!

The rodeo is the biggest event in the small town of St. Paul, and one of the top twenty largest rodeos in the nation.

Fans know it best for the fun it provides. Rodeo clown JJ Harrison will be on hand to provide the laughs, and the Full Throttle trick riders will entertain in flashy sequined costumes, while they do gymnastic stunts on the backs of galloping horses!

And the food! The St. Paul Rodeo is known for its homemade strawberry shortcake, complete with locally grown berries and a big dollop of whipped cream on top! Plus, there’s barbecue chicken, cotton candy, popcorn, and more!

It’s good to be able to rodeo and invite fans to return, said Cindy Schonholtz, general manager of the St. Paul Rodeo, who has an informal “theme” for this year’s rodeo: “More fun in ’21.”

“We are proud to be a family celebration where moms and dads, kids and grandkids, grandmas and granddads can get together, enjoy each other’s company, and celebrate Independence Day.”

Tickets range in price from $16 to $26, not including a convenience fee, and can be purchased online at StPaulRodeo.com

“Come and celebrate with us at the St. Paul Rodeo,” Schonholtz said.

Rodeo performances are at 7:30 pm nightly, June 30-July 4, with a 1:30 pm matinee on July 4.

For more information, visit the rodeo’s website or call 800.237.5920. Covid guidelines will be in place during the rodeo. Tickets purchased earlier in the year will be honored.

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Bull rider Boudreaux Campbell competes at the 2019 St. Paul Rodeo. This year’s rodeo is scheduled for June 30-July 4. As Covid restrictions are lifted, more tickets will be released for sale. Photo by Hoot Creek.



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Media Contact:
Ruth Nicolaus
319-321-2152
For the St. Paul Rodeo

ANNUAL TRAIL RIDE TO TAKE PLACE
St. Paul Rodeo kicks off with first event; tickets limited due to restrictions

St. Paul, Ore. (May 24, 2021) – The St. Paul Rodeo is pleased to announce that its annual Trail Ride will take place this year.

On June 6, trail riders can gather to ride their horses through the three-hour trip, starting in St. Paul, winding through farmland and along hop fields to the Willamette River, then back to town.

It’s a trip that Dave Smith has helped prepare for years.

The St. Paul native got “volun-told,” as he likes to say, to take down low branches and mow the route each year.

That was 35 years ago, and he’s still helping prepare the route, “checking for low limbs, making sure there are no holes for a horse to step in, putting out trash cans,” he said.

Being one of the Smith family (two of his great-uncles were founders of the rodeo when it began in 1936) and a long-time resident of St. Paul means Dave has been a life-long volunteer with the rodeo. “It’s kind of a curse,” he joked. But he loves it.

The trail ride is one of his favorites. “It’s seeing the same faces every year. You build relationships with the people on the ride and you see a lot of different personalities on the ride. It’s fun.”

The rodeo will be held this year, June 30-July 4, and for that, Smith is glad. “Everybody was let down last year. It just wasn’t summer without having a rodeo over the Fourth of July. It was quiet.”

Because of Covid restrictions, the trail ride will have a limited number of riders. The ride is free but participants must sign up online and check in at the contestant entry office for a number, to be allowed to ride.

A hearty breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage and locally grown strawberries will be served from 7 am to 10:30 am. The breakfast will be held in the rodeo arena; the public is asked to enter through the Tack Room Saloon. Seating for the breakfast will be outdoors; please dress accordingly. Seatings will be at 7 am, 8 am, 9 am and 10 am; tickets must be purchased online to guarantee seating. Takeout breakfasts will be unlimited; purchase a ticket online to guarantee availability. Pickup for takeout will be by the Tack Room Saloon.

Check-in for the trail ride begins at 8 am; the trail ride starts at 10 am.

To sign up for the trail ride and for the breakfast, visit the rodeo’s website at www.StPaulRodeo.com. Cost of the breakfast is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 12 and under.

Ticket sales for the rodeo have been paused until the state offers more direction regarding Covid restrictions. If rodeo tickets have been purchased already, they will be honored.

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Cutlines:
St. Paul Rodeo royalty leads the trail riders on the annual Trail Ride. This year’s ride is June 6. The ride is free but riders must sign up online. Photo courtesy Hoot Creek.

Trail riders enjoy the sunshine and scenery as they make their way on the annual St. Paul Rodeo trail ride. Photo courtesy Hoot Creek.
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