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Mid-Western Rodeo draws fans

Jordan Wagner of Cokato, Minnesota, comes off his horse to wrestle a steer during the Mid-Western Rodeo. Holly Neumann Photo

Manawa event celebrates 65th anniversary

By Holly Neumann

Fans filled the Manawa Rodeo Grounds stands June 29 to July 1 for the 65th annual Mid-Western Rodeo.

“2023 has been a success in so many ways because of all people working here to make it a good experience for the people that come here, from making sure we have seats for everyone to faster moving food lines to the local community that gets behind us and supports us 100%,” said Connie Klotzbuecher, the rodeo organization’s secretary/treasurer.

The athletes and the stock that come to the rodeo are top notch, which adds to the success, according to Klotzbuecher.

“Over 300 contestants took part and it makes me proud that they chose to come to Manawa,” she said. “That tells us that we are doing a good job and giving them a great experience. We have good ground to ride on and friendly people to check them in and we treat them right.”

Some of the stock is also used at the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“These are champions for both the athlete and the animal,” Klotzbuecher said.

Seeing women involved in more events adds even more to the show, she said.

“We had the women’s breakaway event and now we have added the Women’s Ranch Bronc Championships,” she said. “This was a first stop for them and their first time in Wisconsin.”

Klotzbuecher has worked for the rodeo for 21 years.

“I have seen the rodeo grow to where it is today,” she said. “The parade is also a huge of draw for the community. I walked from the rodeo grounds to the parade this weekend and as I walked to town, I talked to people along the way. There are generations of families that come together for this event.”

Her hope is that the Mid-Western Rodeo continues to be a success for the community.

“Talking to the community and thanking them for all they do is so important,” Klotzbuecher said. “Over 30 organizations and approximately 500 volunteers make it a success and I am sure there are some volunteers sometimes that we don’t even know about.”

Klotzbuecher believes the Manawa community and the Mid-Western Rodeo help make the event a success each year.

“We are both working on one goal: to make our community family-friendly and a destination to go to,” she said.

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