CHESAW – The 80th Annual Chesaw Fourth of July Rodeo will take place next Monday, swelling the population of this small community as people from both sides of the border come to enjoy the popular community rodeo.
“For this year’s 80th annual 4th of July Chesaw Rodeo, our rodeo club is honored to announce our 2022 Grand Marshal, Phil Dart. Phil was born and raised in the Molson area on his family ranch,” announced the Chesaw Rodeo Club.
Dart went to school in Molson until the fifth grade and then finished out his education in Oroville. He is the fourth generation rancher in his family on their Molson ranch, where him and his oldest son, Randy, run the operation. His younger son, Travis, is a diesel mechanic in Fairbanks, Alaska. He also has two grandchildren, Henry and Aubree.
“Phil has been involved in the Molson/Chesaw community, and this rodeo, since a very young age. He participated in 4-H as a child and helped them work the concession stand every Fourth of July from nine-years-old on through his childhood. His parents, Richard and Barbara, were involved with the rodeo as well, being selected as Grand Marshals in the early 2000s,” said the rodeo club.
Dart became a member of the Chesaw Rodeo Club in the late 1980s and has been a member ever since.
“You might recognize him out in the arena where he announces the kids’ games, or even see him by the calf chutes helping kids with calf riding. Phil said he has only missed one rodeo, that he can remember, over the years and that year he decided that fishing wasn’t nearly as fun as the Chesaw Rodeo.”
When asked what his favorite part of the rodeo was, he couldn’t pinpoint just one thing. He said, however, “that being a part of this rodeo is very special to me. It is a wonderful family oriented, community event that is close to my heart. I have been to many rodeos in my life, even the National Finals Rodeo, and I would still rather watch the Chesaw Rodeo.”
Family games start at 10 a.m. on the Fourth of July, with a parade at 12:30 p.m. with the rodeo following. Events include cow riding, bare back riding, barrel racing, calf roping and the calf scramble. There is also wild cow milking and the children’s chicken scramble.
And, there’s also a chance to kick up your heels at the Chesaw Rodeo Dance on Sunday night, July 3. The dance features live music and is open to all ages.