Woodlake celebrates 61st Lions Rodeo

Over the years, the two-day Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association-sanctioned Woodlake Rodeo has been the nexus for the evolution of 10 days of what’s now called Woodlake Western Week.

Western Week now features 10 days of activities from fundraisers, concerts, a soap box derby, and coronation of the Rodeo Queen, culminating with the Rodeo Parade on the Saturday morning of the Rodeo’s opening day. At the helm of the parade will be Frances Mann, 2014 Grand Marshal. Frances was raised in Lemon Cove and worked at Woodlake High School for 24 years. She served under six different principals until her retirement in 2013.

As an active member of the Lady Lions, rodeo-goers will find Frances working one of two concession stands that the Lady Lions oversee during the Rodeo.

Reigning over and representing the Woodlake Rodeo will be  Markie Hageman of Tulare, who  was crowned the 2014 Rodeo Queen in one of the closest contests ever. Aubrey Greenamyer of Three Rivers finished second in the judging that was based on horsemanship, poise and personality, and raffle ticket sales.

Each queen receives a tiara, belt buckle, and a leather saddle.

“Each contestant was outstanding on horseback and had an excellent horse,” Aubrey said. “Throughout the competition, we’ve all become close friends.”

This year, after a two-year hiatus, Chad Nicholson of Three Rivers returns to the rodeo announcer role at the Woodlake Rodeo. Chad brings his signature style of announcing on horseback that really is a show within the show. 

“It doesn’t get any better than the show the Lions put on at Woodlake,” Chad said. “Come on down to Elderwood this weekend for some action-packed rodeo, see the Clydesdales, and check out those Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls too.”  

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