This weekend’s Darrington Timberbowl Rodeo will feature bull riding, barrel racing and bronc riding, as shown here at last year’s event. (Toni Lenon)

This weekend’s Darrington Timberbowl Rodeo will feature bull riding, barrel racing and bronc riding, as shown here at last year’s event. (Toni Lenon)

Cowboys — and girls — to show their stuff at Darrington’s rodeo

See bull riding, barrel racing and bronc riding at the Darrington Timberbowl Rodeo on June 29-30.

Bull riding, barrel racing, bronc riding — all the rodeo activities you may have read about, but perhaps never have seen.

This weekend there’s a chance to experience all these events at the Darrington Timberbowl Rodeo, now in its 55th year. The event drew some 3,000 people last year.

Some 75 contestants are expected to compete each day during the two-day event, including 20 bull riders, said Nick Bates, who with his wife, Margie Bates, heads the Darrington Horse Owners Association, which organizes the event.

In another event, breakaway calf roping, contestants rope and stop the calf in a timed competition. About 20 people are expected to compete each day.

The bronc riding contest involves riding like they would have done a century ago, Nick Bates said, with a standard stock saddle and contestants dressed in Western gear competing to stay on a bucking horse.

A kids zone will be set up near the stadium’s bleachers.

The rodeo will take place at an arena in the midst of a quarter-million-dollar renovation that calls for three of the stadium’s five bleaches to be covered.

That project won’t be completed in time for this year’s rodeo, but will be ready for next year’s event, Nick Bates said.

“Hopefully by the end of September we’ll be done with construction,” he said.

Other improvements are the addition of handicapped seating, a dry camping area, a covered picnic area and a remodel of the beer garden building.

With the 6,841-foot Whitehorse Mountain as a backdrop, “we’ve got one of the prettiest settings,” Nick Bates said. “It’s just a beautiful area to have a rodeo facility.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or

If you go

The Darrington Timberbowl Rodeo starts at 6 p.m. June 29 and 2 p.m. June 30 at the rodeo grounds, 42109 Highway 530 NE, Darrington. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, military, law enforcement and children 7 and older. Children 6 and younger are free. Go to for more information.

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