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REDDING, Calif. - Saturday is the day of the annual Redding Rodeo Parade, a huge community event that has been taking place since 1949. The theme in 2019 is “General Stores & Saloon Doors."
It used to be called the “Shasta County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo Parade.” The parade organization and operation were turned over to the Asphalt Cowboys in 1958 so that the Sheriff’s Posse could concentrate on the rodeo and refurbishing the rodeo grounds.
The parade has grown to include approximately 250 entries from all over the North State. There are 52 different classes with prizes and trophy awards.
Rodeo parades, a regular feature of western rodeos, showcased many of the professional cowboys that would ride in the rodeo plus the typical mix of marching bands, floats, and majorettes.
Today the parade tradition continues. Many entrants are made up of mostly non-professional local riders and the Grand Marshall is an honor conferred on a local citizen or citizens. This year the Grand Marshalls are first responders from the Carr Fire, including law enforcement, medical staff, utility workers and firefighters.
The Asphalt Cowboys of Redding, Inc. is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization working under the auspices of the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department.
The Asphalt Cowboys have two main fundraising events during the year. The annual Pancake Breakfast takes place on the Friday of Rodeo Week and the Big Community Barbeque serves up Tri-Tip and Chicken with their world famous "Cowboy Beans."
Most of the funds they generate go into providing all of the Rodeo Week activities, which are provided free of charge for the benefit of the community.
Donations are also used to help the Sheriff’s Department. The civic group has donated several K-9 Units to them, including the very first one they ever had named “Cigo” in 1997. In 2016 the Asphalt Cowboys contributed $5000 for the purchase of needed “armor piercing” bullet proof vests.
The Asphalt Cowboys have also created a law enforcement scholarship. The non-profit organization works with the colleges in the North State who have a law enforcement curriculum and award several scholarships each year to deserving students after conferring with the Shasta County Sheriff and the Redding Police Chief.
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