Breaking News
More () »

KREM 2 goes behind the scenes at the Spokane County Interstate Fair rodeo

Contestants coming into the Spokane fairgrounds for the PRCA rodeo traveled from places such as Puyallup, Lewiston, Montana and Iowa.

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash — Rodeo announcer Steve Kenyon's has what's likely the best view of the rodeo arena at the Spokane County Interstate Fair.

It’s a view he’s seen several times over the decades: "Been talking to a microphone every day for 40 some years."

Kenyon started off working in radio doing sports play-by-play. He then moved to the rodeo announcer's stand in 1986 and he's been there ever since “telling stories.”

“I just love the sport. I love the people. I love being able to tell the stories I love,” he said before Friday’s rodeo performance at the fair.

He recalls working the Spokane rodeo more than twenty years: "The fun thing has been seeing it grow and seeing the crowds get bigger and seeing the people come and really be entertained."

As the stands filled up with fans for Friday’s performance, they'll see a contest steeped in tradition with events such as calf roping, bull riding, barrel racing and bareback riding. 
"We treat people to a sport that traces its roots back to working cattle ranches,” said Kenyon. “And today still has a lot of roots in working cattle ranches."
Rodeo’s a tough sport with a lot of pain and a lot of time on the road. Contestants coming into the Spokane fairgrounds traveled from Puyallup, Lewiston, Montana and Iowa.

“They might work for eight seconds in the arena. They might have traveled eight hours to get to the arena,” said Kenyon.

But it’s not just the cowboy's and cowgirl’s athleticism on display. The livestock is also a big part of the sport.

"These horses and these bulls - they're just like any other athlete you watch,” said Kenyon. “If they aren't feeling good, they can't perform. And so we do everything we can to make sure they feel as good as they can."

As for the future of rodeo, one place Kenyon says spectators can get a glimpse of the next generation is the mutton busting: "Ten years from now, you see where we end up with some of those kids."

And there’s a good chance he’ll be there announcing their names when they do ride into the arena.

KREM ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube



ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KREM in the Channel Store.

Fire TV: Search for "KREM" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.

Apple TV: Search "Spokane News from KREM" in the Apple store or  follow this link.

To report a typo or grammatical error, please email webspokane@krem.com. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out