One of the most anticipated events each year for Dodge City Days is a family activity called Fiesta.

    To be part of this event, people need only show their Dodge City Days 2009 lapel pin.

    "This year, the community and tourists can enjoy a traditional Mexican sport, the competition called Mexican charrería (Mexican rodeo), in which three charros teams will demonstrate their skill, grace and excellence," said Micaela Pichardo, membership director of the Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce.


One of the most anticipated events each year for Dodge City Days is a family activity called Fiesta.
    To be part of this event, people need only show their Dodge City Days 2009 lapel pin.
    "This year, the community and tourists can enjoy a traditional Mexican sport, the competition called Mexican charrería (Mexican rodeo), in which three charros teams will demonstrate their skill, grace and excellence," said Micaela Pichardo, membership director of the Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce.
    The arena at Rancho El Palomino, 1900 Pheasant St., will be the platform for the exhibition from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday. The teams Charros Association El Vergel from Kansas, Charros Association Reyes Rivera from Kansas and Charros Association Los Hermanos Pañuelos from California will face each other in front of the audience and a judge.
    After the Mexican charrería competition, the radio stations La Nueva and La Mexicana will host a party with dance music.
    "The activity will open with the charro teams parading within the arena on horseback. The participants of each team, wearing traditional charro clothing, will begin the charreada that consists of a number of scoring events in a particular arrangement in order to accumulate points," Pichardo said.
    Mexican charrería scoring events:
    • Reining: A charro gives orders to his horse to demonstrate his mastery of skills and training of the horse.
    • Heeling: A rider tries three times to catch a wild animal with a rope by the hind legs.
    • Steer trailing: A charro rides alongside the bull, wraps its tail on the right leg and tries to lay it on the floor.
    • Bull riding: The charro rides a small bull until it stops bucking.
    • Team Roping: Three charros attempt to catch a bull with the rope — one by the neck, another by the hind legs, and the last one ties the bull's feet together.
     • Bareback on a wild mare: A wild mare is mounted by a rider with a bull rope.
    • Forefooting: A charro on foot has three opportunities to rope a wild mare by its front legs, causing it to fall and roll once. The wild mare is chased around the ring by three mounted charros or hazers.
    • Forefooting on Horseback: A charro on horseback has three opportunities to rope a wild mare by its front legs and cause it to fall and roll once. The wild mare is chased by three mounted charros.
    • The pass of death: A charro riding bareback, with reins, attempts to leap from his own horse onto the bare back of a wild horse without reins and ride it until it stops bucking. The dangerous part is when the charro performing the pass falls under three other mounted charros who are chasing the wild mare around the arena ring.

Highlighting Mexican traditions
    Fiesta is one of the most popular activities during Dodge City's festivities at this time of the year. For many Mexicans, highlighting Mexican traditions and culture is an excellent opportunity for young people of Hispanic descent who were born in the United States to recognize and learn from the legacy.
    The charreada — the national sport of Mexico that developed after the Mexican Revolution, when the charro tradition almost disappeared — is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, especially in areas where the number of Latinos is growing quickly.
    "It's necessary to show our children the tradition of charrerría that our grandparents and forefathers so proudly practiced at their ranches. It is essential to keep this tradition alive," Pichardo stressed.
    After the traditional equestrian event, a diverse collection of dance music will animate the party from 8 to 10 p.m.
    Drinks and Mexican food will be part of the event, and the best selection of traditional dishes from Mexico will be on sale at many of the food stands.   
    For more information, contact Pichardo at 227-3119.
    Pichardo thanked the following sponsors that make Fiesta possible: Rancho El Palomino, National Beef, Sunflower Bank, Western Beverage, Magouirk's, Tacos Jalisco, Panadería Royal, Fiesta Video, El Mexicano Auto, Carnicería Tianguis, the Solís Agency and the Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce.