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Stampede to offer a wild ride

WEST JORDAN -- They'll be mixing saddle broncs and ornery bulls with mountain men, Corvettes and a buffalo that jumps through a fiery ring.

There will be dancers, singers, baton twirlers, live bands, down-home clogging and a bunch of little buckeroos and buckerettes coming out of the chutes atop some rambunctious sheep.And don't forget the demolition derby, three nights of fireworks, a parking lot dance, tractor pulls, a chuckwagon breakfast, square dancing, a carnival and the traditional Independence Day Parade.

In fact, if you can't find something to tickle your fancy during West Jordan's 1999 Western Stampede Saturday, June 26, through July 3, you probably should call for paramedics and ask one to see if you have a pulse.

Lou Warnick, chairman of the stampede's executive committee, said the annual West Jordan Rodeo/Fourth of July bash is celebrating its 52nd year and expects to attract anywhere between 40,000 and 60,000 people to five days of events.

"It's bigger and better this year, and we hope people will like the improvements we've made," Warnick said.

One of those improvements is in the form of new metal bleachers that will hold about 6,000 people, increasing rodeo seating capacity by 1,500 people a night. "No more splinters," promised Warnick.

All events will take place in West Jordan Park, west of City Hall at 8000 S. Redwood Road.

Rodeo ticket prices will remain the same this year. "There is no general admission," Warnick added. "It's all reserved seating."

To accommodate ticket sales, a ticket booth has been opened in the park instead of City Hall. Booth hours now run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and will be extended July 1-3.

Warnick said one new addition will be a group of mountain men who will set up their teepees.

An added attraction will be a Utah Corvette Association show on July 3 from noon to 4 p.m.

The stampede officially kicks off Saturday with a demolition derby at 7 p.m. in the park rodeo arena, but the main four-day celebration will begin Wednesday at 7 p.m. with a parking lot dance.

Bone-jarring rodeo action will come out of the chutes July 1-3, featuring Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association contestants.

Live bands and other pre-rodeo entertainment will begin nightly at 7, followed by the rodeo at 8 p.m.

Carnival attractions and free park entertainment will fire up at 2 p.m. July 1 and July 2 and at noon on July 3.

Fourth of July activities will be held July 3 beginning with a 7 a.m. flag ceremony at West Jordan High School, a 5K run at 8 a.m. at the 2200 West entrance to the park and the annual West Jordan parade at 10:30 a.m.

There will be tractor pulls at 1 p.m. and an 8 p.m. square dance in the park bowery.

Ticket information is available by calling 256-0801.