Reno Rodeo Commemorates its Centennial with New Features and Events

RENO, Nev. (May 28, 2019)—Entering its second century is just one of many notable new happenings at the Reno Rodeo this year. Beginning Thursday, June 20, the renowned event commemorates its 100th anniversary with an expansive mural, creation of a Hall of Fame, a Pony Express Reenactment and a new clown and barrelman to entertain crowds.

Along Sutro Street, local muralist Erik Burke, along with brother Mike Burke and Logan Needham, have painted a tribute to the Rodeo’s first 100 years on a lengthy expanse of wall. This enduring and realistic homage begins in 1919 on the wall’s north end, then illustrates each decade of the event’s history, culminating in 2019 near gate six of the Rodeo grounds.

To create the Sutro Street Mural, Burke and team referenced historic photos provided by various sources and stories shared by 100 Year Committee Chair Clint Wells, Tom Cates and Mike Mentaberry, among others. Within each of the 10 sections are historically accurate, multi-cultural pictorials capturing notable moments and people from the Reno Rodeo’s first century. A belt motif running through it all features buckles representing each ten-year period, while a cowboy rope ties everything together.

While Burke’s latest mural can be seen surrounding the site of all the rodeo action, he’s also painted many other pieces around the globe. His work has been published in international books and media outlets including the New York Times and Huffington Post.

“Everyone needs to drive down Sutro Street and check out the mural. Quite simply, it is amazing. As great as I think the commemorative buckle and art turned out, I really believe this could be the defining thing that sets this 100th year apart for years to come,” says Mike Torvinen, 2019 Reno Rodeo president. “Funny how some things just turn out so amazing. When we were discussing the mural, I really had no sense it would be this impactful.”

On Friday, June 21, the Reno Rodeo and the National Pony Express Association will honor veterans by presenting letters to the Veteran’s Coalition during a special performance on Patriot Night in the event’s main arena. Guests are encouraged to wear red, white and blue.

Annually each June, more than 750 members of the National Pony Express Association reenact the original 1,966-mile journey made by the Pony Express from Missouri to California, carrying letters for 24 hours daily until delivered. This year, the association’s Commemorative Re-Ride participants will present veterans’ letters during the Rodeo’s Pony Express performance. A letter template can be downloaded at, then mailed by June 15 to Pony Express Letters for Veterans, c/o Reno Rodeo, P.O. Box 12335 Reno, NV 89510. The reenactors will also march in the Reno Rodeo Parade on Saturday, June 22 at 10 a.m.

Also new for the centennial is the creation of a Reno Rodeo Hall of Fame, into which members will be inducted nightly June 20­­-29. The Hall of Fame will be part of the Reno Rodeo Museum, to be located in the planned new stadium, once completed.

Inductees include:

  • June 20 – Charles Mapes, Sr.
  • June 21 – Salinas Rodeo Committee
  • June 22 – Bob Tallman
  • June 23 – Harry Frost
  • June 24 – Bill Moffit
  • June 25 – Charles Sadlier
  • June 26 – Will James
  • June 27 – Gus Bartley
  • June 28 – Casey Tibbs
  • June 29 – Cotton Rosser

New Rodeo clown and barrelman John Harrison will keep audiences laughing this year as well. The Rodeo’s latest character became a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) in 1999 as a trick and roman rider and trick roper before also adding barrelman to his PRCA card. Grandson of world champion bull riding legend Freckles Brown, Harrison has traveled the U.S. as a specialty act performer and four-time NFR Barrelman, plus won both the PRCA’s Comedy Act of the Year award and Coors Man in the Can gold buckle three times each.

For more information about events and tickets for the Reno Rodeo Centennial, June 20-29, 2019, visit Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Lawlor Events Center box office. For ticket information only call 775-784-4444. To order tickets by phone call 800-325-7328. Reno Rodeo Association encourages fans to be wary of third-party ticket sellers.


About the Reno Rodeo

The Reno Rodeo is a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) sanctioned sporting event, and one of the top five rodeos in North America. Reno Rodeo is a non-profit organization made up of over 1000 volunteers. This year’s Reno Rodeo is scheduled for June 20-29, 2019. Competition includes bareback, team roping, saddle bronc, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, women’s barrel racing and bull riding. Like Reno Rodeo on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or for more information on the Reno Rodeo, visit