This past weekend was the 73rd annual Sisters Rodeo, and of course we went. One of my friends here said she was surprised I liked the rodeo, and I admit it's out of character, but I've always been a cowgirl at heart. I am, after all, a westerner, and though we were townies, I grew up riding my friends' horses whenever I could—but never often enough. More important, I never missed a Roy Rogers, Tim Holt, Gene Autry, or Lone Ranger movie, though my heart was always with Roy.

The rodeo is big here in Sisters. Besides the rodeo itself—a four-day event run by volunteers, who do a fantastic job—there's a dance, a Sunday morning Buckaroo Breakfast, and a parade. Closets are explored for those "I know it's here somewhere" hats and boots that lay unused most of the year, and the town fills up with cowboys and cowgirls, real and imagined. There's also "Art in the Park," for those who prefer a more aesthetic sport. But really, what could be prettier than a sunny day and a well-handled horse?

Here are some of my favorite photos from the last few days, all taken by Ray. (Nikon D90; Nikon AF-S Nikkor 55–300 mm lens.)

A parade goer snaps a photo of children.

Pre-parade excitement builds along Cascade Avenue

Sisters Rodeo Queen, Whitney Richey

Dreaming of being a cowboy

More parade fun

Hang on!

Beautiful Percheron horses, driven by Jason Goodman

Eight seconds sure is a long time

The bulls won this event; no one managed to stay on.

Barrel racing, my favorite event.

We get our annual overdose of prayer, patriotism, and downright American corn at the rodeo, and we plan to go again next year. Ride 'em cowgirl!