Local rodeo supports community facilities since 1996

by Becca Sligh

Paso Robles Press Contributor

CRESTON — The 27th Annual Creston Rodeo took place last weekend in Creston. The rodeo, which was started in 1996, is a three-day-long event that is open to all ages and packed with tons of fun. Although rodeo attendees can enjoy amazing food, lots of beverages and various vendor booths, the reason why the Creston Classic Rodeo happens is one that’s based in both history and community.

The Creston Classic Rodeo comes from a long line of history and tradition. Started by the Ryan family in 1996, the rodeo has become a staple to the Creston community. Interestingly, the Creston Classic Rodeo is actually a nonprofit that supports two other Creston nonprofits: the Creston Community Center and the Creston Community Pool.

2023 Creston Rodeo Chuck and Vikki 7493
27th annual Creston Rodeo celebrates community tradition and support

On the Creston Classic Rodeo website (crestonclassicrodeo.org), it is mentioned that of every town in San Luis Obispo County, Creston and Pozo were the only ones without a community center. But, with the classic Creston “can do” attitude, that all changed and the rodeo was a perfect way to fundraise for that community center. 

According to the website, in 1992, the Creston Activities Town Center Helping Hands (CATCH) Fund was developed. With a near $100,000 donation from the Creston Classic Rodeo in 2009 for the community center, work simultaneously began in 2010 on the new Cal Fire station, meaning the old fire station would become the new community center. 

“We help to fund that and to keep the lights on and as well as maintain all the upgrades,” says Creston Classic Rodeo Board Member Charity Doherty. “That center is then available for community members to rent.” 

Similarly to the Community Center, Doherty explains that the Creston Classic Rodeo also helps maintain the Creston Community Pool. 

“Something near and dear to me is the Creston Community Pool,” Doherty says. “The pool has a cool history. It was built by community members, and in 1960 it opened.” 

2023 Creston Rodeo Chuck and Vikki 8296 copy
27th annual Creston Rodeo celebrates community tradition and support

Doherty reveals that from 1960 until now, the Creston Community has been fundraising to maintain the Community Pool. 

“The pool is super old, but it serves all incomes … it serves everybody, and it serves them free,” Doherty says. 

With the money made at the Creston Classic Rodeo, the Creston Community Pool is able to stay afloat for all community members to use during the warm summer months.

Despite it being a great cause for the community, the Creston Classic Rodeo takes months of preparation. Doherty shares that there are months of meetings that take place as well as a whole board of people. Constant contact with sponsors is also a huge part of the Creston Classic Rodeo, as Doherty mentioned they’re always welcoming new sponsors as well as actively welcoming people who see a specific need for this event and can provide extra help. Another interesting fact regarding the success of the rodeo is the cattle stock. 

“We have to be in contact with the stock contractors because the cattle market changes all the time,” said Doherty, who mentioned it can pose an interesting challenge to just find stock, which depends on so many different factors. 

Doherty also expressed gratitude towards those who help put on the rodeo by providing the tractors and water trucks, which really solidifies that the Creston Classic Rodeo is a true community event.

The Creston Classic Rodeo is usually held on a weekend every September. Next year will be their 28th annual year.

For more information about this year’s rodeo contestants, winners, and vendors please visit crestonclassicrodeo.org

Photos by Chuck and Vikki Photography