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1931 Spud Rodeo

For February's "From the Archive" feature, we're looking back 90 years at the 1931 Greeley Spud Rodeo.

1931 marked the ninth year for an annual rodeo and Fourth of July celebration in Greeley and is one of the earliest years of it being a multi-day event. According to Chamber of Commerce notes from this year, the budget for the 1931 event was $10,000.

The photo at left shows the committee for the 1931 Spud Rodeo. At this time, the annual celebration in Greeley was still a part of the Greeley Chamber of Commerce and the Chairman was appointed by the Chamber board. From left to right: (back row) Ed Folbrecht, D.R. Griegg, Charles E. Evans, Harry Jacobson, George Horne; (middle row) Lloyd Farr, Luke Story, unidentified, unidentified, I.L. Page; (front row) Frank Shoemaker, M.E. Blick.

The program photographed is a souvenir booklet for the rodeo on July 4th. Though not listed in the rodeo program, activities for the two-day event would have included the Independence Day Parade and a medley of "county fair-style" events in the park.

The rodeo events in 1931 looked a little different than they do today. You'll notice that many of the events were horse races. In fact, horse races were a large part of the Greeley Stampede's early history and took place each year until 1958. The race track at the Island Grove arena remained in place until the 1970s when the grandstands were expanded.

Also of note, 1931 was the first year that stock was provided by Earl Anderson of Grover, Colorado. Anderson and his family would provide the stock at the Spud Rodeo for over two decades.

Click the photos below to take a closer look at the events listed in this program!
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