The Rodeo Queen

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 22
Occupation: Student
Residence: Oregon
Date of Performance/Collection: 04/20/2021
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Context

The interviewee is one of my housemates and we often engage in conversation about our different hometowns. This folklore about a festival comes from a dinner where the house was sharing various stories from our childhood.

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Performance

The following is transcribed from the story told by the interviewee.

“In my hometown, we had a frolic and rodeo. There were lasso cows and ride bucking broncos and barrel racing. And at the Rodeo, they would select a Rodeo Queen that will represent the rodeo until the next year. And there is always a parade right before the rodeo of all the log trucks in my hometown that would drive down the main street. And you get to eat carnival food and do the classic carnival things”

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Analysis

Carnivals are fairly common around America. What I found unique about his story were the log trucks that were paraded around. This is very specific to his hometown of Philomath where logging is the main source of income for the people that live there. Putting log trucks on display and parading them around shows how the people recognize the importance of that industry and how they celebrate it. It is meant to reinforce and instill a sense of pride in people of the industry that their town relies on. While it can seem like a festival about fun and games, it is very much about building a spirit of community and getting everyone to gather around a single and common idea. To have a Rodeo Queen is an example of creating a symbol is which people can rally around. And while America is clearly not a monarchy anymore, the concept of it is used in order to build a sense of hometown belonging.