RAMONA, Calif. — The 42nd annual Ramona Rodeo is kicking off Thursday night in Ramona.
The annual event is expected to sell out, attracting up to 4,500 people each night, and an estimated 12,000 people enjoying the three-day event.
The historic event brings people from all across the country to Ramona for the rodeo, including people from Montana and Texas.
According to organizers, all of the funds from the rodeo go right back into the nonprofit rodeo park. It also brings an economic boom to the community, vendors at the rodeo and local small businesses.
Ramona-based ride service, Arrive Alive, is providing shuttles and rides to people out for the rodeo, with a goal of stopping drunk driving.
“Remember don’t drink and drive, arrive alive,” owner of the ride service company Melissa Maxedon said.
The Barn is now the official afterparty for the Ramona Rodeo. The co-owner of the dining and nightlife establishment said they are typically at capacity during the weekend of the Rodeo, but now expects this to be even busier. So, they’ve called in for backup from a neighboring East County community.
“We get a lot of people here, so because of that we’ve asked for other restaurants up the hill to assist us,” Vito Tutino, co-owner of The Barn, said.
“This is a very tight-knit community and when one of us needs help, the other steps up,” said Amber Jones, managing owner at Josie’s Hideout Saloon in Santa Ysabel.
She and some of her staff are helping at The Barn due to the influx of visitors.
Tickets for the rodeo must be purchased online in advance.
Gates to the rodeo open at 5:30 p.m. each day, the rodeo performance begins at 7:30 p.m., and parking opens at 4:30 p.m. Parking is $5 cash only on-site.