Despite the extraordinary triple digit temperatures that are keeping many hunkered down at home this week, Folsom’s Dan Russell Arena was host to a capacity crowd starting Wednesday night for the opening of the 63rd annual Folsom Pro Rodeo. Over its three-day run, some 22,000 fans are expected to pass through the gates at the event.

By late afternoon Wednesday, the thermometer had climbed to 110 just before the gates opened for what it is Folsom’s premier spectator event each year. Dressed in patriotic apparel of the cool and comfortable nature and donning their cowboy hats, fans of all ages weren’t letting mother nature ruin the night that many have have planned for months.


 “We bought tickets just after the new year this time to make sure we got them, we aren’t letting a little heat keep us from being here,” said local fan Susan Hoffman of Foslom. “It’s summer, it gets hot, you just have to prepare for it, be smart and not over do it. If you can’t take the heat, stay someplace cool but if you can and you plan well this is a great place to be tonight.”

Plenty of rodeo fans were beating the heat by enjoying their favorite ice-cold beverage at Wednesday’s opener, some were of the adult nature, others we’re not and there was plenty of red, white and blue shaved ice treats being consumed by younger fans along with ice cream, cold soda’s and for many, just plain ice-cold water.


In addition to the array of hydration options from many different vendors that the Folsom Chamber of Commerce has done a great job of procuring for the three-day stint at the arena where heat will be a factor. They have provided additional amenities to help fans keep more comfortable as well. Among the options, misters, cooling areas, sunscreen stations and more.

When it comes to the rodeo performers, they too were keeping hydrating Wednesday night, although they don’t have the time like the fans do to enjoy shaved ice or and ice-cold brew until their work is done at the end of the night. Some veteran performers take extra steps to insure they are well hydrated so they can perform without issue.


Longtime Folsom Pro Rodeo emcee’s Adam Frick and Taryn Grows are key components of the program, working in the arena to entertain the crowd from the time the show begins, also the hottest part of the evening prior to the sun going down.  The comical duo both take the time each year on their own to partake in IV drip therapy, to be extra prepared for their active roles in the arena as well as layered costumes.


Wednesday’s opener started in traditional fashion that often doesn’t leave a dry eye in the stadium with patriotism and community being the theme as the American Flag arrives to the arena via sky diver just prior to the performing of the National Anthem.

The grand entry brought the capacity filled arena to its feet as they cheered in support as 2024 Rodeo Grand Marshal Brian Martel led the entourage into the arena, on horseback. Martell, a longtime Folsom resident with a long history of being involved in the rodeo. Through the years, Martell has actively served not only the chamber but the community as well.  Among his roles, Martell has served as a City of Folsom planning commissioner, he has served as the chair of the Folsom Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Additionally, he continues to be a member of the Rotary club of Folsom and has been not only an avid Rodeo fan for more than 20 years, but has volunteered and sponsored it for just about as long,


Wednesday’s  event kept the crowd entertained with all of the traditional performances and festivities the event is known for, from the well orchestrated patriotic performances by the Painted Ladies Rodeo Performers, an icon of the Folsom Pro Rodeo, to the children’s coin hunt in the arena that kicks things off to the brave little mutton busters that test their skills upon the back of sheep to see who can hang on the longest.

From there, it was on to the professionals taking to the arena with an action packed program of bronc riding, barrel racing, roping, bull riding and more. The competitions, provided by the well-known Flying U Rodeo provided non-stop entertainment, with Rodeo Entertainer Disco Dalton Morris stepping in between each event to provide plenty of laughs and shenanigans to keep the crowd entertained. This is the first bout at the Folsom Pro Rodeo for Morris, a veteran entertainer in the industry who put on a spectacular trick roping display complete with flames and more.

After the final bull rider left the arena, it was the Flying Cowboys that roared into the stadium with their daring motorcycle stunts. The display of jumps, flips and two wheeled acrobatics were a prelude to the traditional fireworks display that wraps ups up the program each of the three evenings.

When the action in the arena ends each night action is far from over for rodeo fans. Popular local band Moonshine Crazy took to the stage in the outdoor saloon where fans were able to enjoy libations and dance the night away under the stars and this, was just the beginning to a full week of rodeo fun ahead.

The Folsom Pro Rodeo runs through July 5 this year, followed by the first ever Sacramento Sheriff’s Rodeo on July 6.  Learn more about the event at

Folsom Times is a community partner with Choose Folsom and a sponsor of the Folsom Pro Rodeo. See our photo gallery below for images our team captured during this year’s 63rd annual Folsom Pro Rodeo. Folsom Times photos by Bill Sullivan