The Augusta American Legion Rodeo is one of Montana's oldest. In 2005, it was named Montana's Tourism Event of The Year by Governor Brian Schweitzer and the Montana Tourism Advisory Council. In 1936 and 1937 the rodeo was hosted by Lou Randall, who owned the Buckhorn Bar with the help of Art and Tot Nett as well as the American Legion and Walt McManus.
The original arena was what the Little League Field is now. Gates from the Great Northern and snow fence made up the arena. In 1938 the land was purchased by the American Legion for the arena that is still used today. That same year, the Legion membership voted to produce the rodeo, despite the strenuous objections of Adjutant Guy Crowe, who cited the Legion's Post's modest cash balance of $3.75. A motion was presented by Legionnaire Tot Nett to spend the $3.75 for beer and still put on the rodeo... the motion was carried. Pat Swan was hired to get out the timber; the building of the arena was done by the Legionnaires, there were no seats at this time; everyone sat in or on the cars or on the ground.
Stock was picked up locally by Tot Nett, Art Nett, Bing Wellman and Bud Swanson, including some horses that the owners did not know were being used for bucking stock. At that time there was also a shortage of contestants, so the Legionnaires would comb the bushes to find some cowboys that had celebrated a little too much and put them aboard the bucking stock. The rodeo has progressed since then until we now have one of the finest arenas in the Northwest and have become one of the largest one day rodeos in the U.S. and Canada.
WHAT TO EXPECT during RODEO WEEKEND
-Live music at the Lazy B
-Wapiti Run (10K at 8:30 a.m.//5K at 9 a.m.//1 mile at 10:15 a.m.) - you can enter the day of!
-The Love, Music, and Rock & Roll Parade at 2 p.m.
-Vendors throughout town
-Allen's Manix Store (The Trading Post) will be serving their world-famous tacos, burgers, etc. on the side of the store
-Slack at 5 p.m.
-Food and vendors throughout town
-Rodeo performance at 2 p.m.
Subject to change.
Reserved Seating $20.00
General Admission, Adults $15.00
General Admission, Child $5.00
Reserved Tickets are sold at local businesses, including Augusta Service Station, Buckhorn Bar, Lazy B Bar, and Western Bar.