Charreada ‘no va’ this year: It’s a no go
The annual Truckee Championship Rodeo will kick up dust at McIver Arena in Truckee River Regional Park next month, thrilling thousands of spectators.
But Truckee residents who are fans of charreada, a Mexican-style rodeo, will have to wait until at least next year to witness one in Truckee.
Local plans to stage a charreada this year have fallen short.
This spring a group of citizens and business owners that wanted to bring a charreada to Truckee’s rodeo arena approached the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District, which oversees the regional park.
Called by some a Mexican rodeo, the charreada is part rodeo and part musical performance. According to Rusty Pauli, a spokesman for the Truckee Charreada Organizing Committee, the event is “half dance floor and half bull- and horse-riding events.” A 12-year Truckee rodeo performer, Pauli blamed the canceled plans on the inability to reserve McIver Arena for a date that organizers wanted.
He said the Truckee Donner Horsemen told the charreada committee that the dates they requested were already filled.
Rodeo committee Chairperson Vicki Charles said the charreada committee was offered other dates, but Pauli said that would not work for the charreada producer, who lives in Mexico.
Under an agreement with the recreation district, the Truckee Donner Horseman have the authority to schedule the rodeo arena, and begin scheduling summer events the prior November. However, Pauli said the charreada organizers did not ask for a suitable date until January.
Charles said she would like to include a charreada during Western Week, the event-filled week that precedes the Truckee Rodeo. But Pauli said he believes the charreada should be scheduled separately from the traditional rodeo.
“In Mexico it can be 12 hours a day lasting 10 days straight,” Pauli said.
President Pete Charles of the Truckee Donner Horsemen said previously that he worries that Truckee would not be able to support two rodeo events, and that the events could stretch sponsorship dollars too thin.
Marshall Lewis, chairman of the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District board of directors, said a culturally diverse community like Truckee needs an event like a charreada. Lewis said he does not think the two events would compete with one another.
He added that, despite the absence of the charreada this year, he is confident about next year.
The Truckee Donner Horsemen have agreed to negotiate a new contract with the district this fall, and said he hopes the new contract will give the district more flexibility in scheduling new events.
Truckee’s rodeo arena cost more than $21,000 a year to maintain. Annual rental income has averaged about $10,000, with the recreation district paying the remaining $10,000 out of its tax-based general fund. McIver Arena rents for close to $1,900 per day.