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By Haley Chi-Sing and Shawn Raymundo

When the annual Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo comes to town, it brings with it an air of excitement for both the local community and spectators from far-away towns who want to enjoy some good, old-fashioned bull riding competitions and other ranch-based contests.

Here in San Juan Capistrano and Rancho Mission Viejo, local businesses and organizations work to share in that excitement by offering plenty of fun and thrilling action, so the party doesn’t just start and stop at the rodeo.

To help get into that Western spirit, here’s a breakdown of events leading up to, during and after the rodeo weekend.

The Shea Center to Host its Annual Cowboy Camp for Kids

As one of the rodeo’s top sponsors, the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center will be holding its annual Cowboy Camp on Aug. 14 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. for their clients. About 20 kids will be invited to interact and learn special roping techniques from the RMV Rodeo cowboys. The children will be able to watch several roping demonstrations, as well as participate in several horse and riding activities. All those invited by the Shea Center must RSVP in advance. For any additional information, call 949.240.8441.

El Adobe Offers Tequila Tasting Ahead of Rodeo

San Juan Capistrano’s El Adobe is hosting a Tequila Testing as a pre-rodeo celebration on Aug. 22. Guests will be able to try different types of tequilas as well as several appetizers. The tequila tasting will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at El Adobe de Capistrano. Tickets are $30 per person; guests can RSVP or pay at the door. To RSVP call 949.493.1163 or email office@eladobecapistrano.com.

Big City Hillbillies to Play the Rodeo

To celebrate the end of the first day of competition, the RMV Rodeo will hold a concert and dance featuring the Big City Hillbillies. The band will be playing several catchy, pop-style songs and pieces. Big City Hillbillies will also be playing a couple of their own, true country songs. The concert and dance kicks off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24, at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park.

Bad to the Bone to Celebrate Post-Rodeo Cookout

Bad to the Bone will be hosting its 11th annual After Rodeo Celebration on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 7 to 11 p.m. Following the RMV Rodeo, guests can head to Bad to the Bone BBQ, where they can enjoy live music and their usual BBQ menu options in the parking lot. The Kelly Rae Band will be playing live country music during the celebration. For more information, call 949.218.0227 or visit badtothebone-bbq.com.

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