VALE – A slight breeze kept the heat at bay as a crowd gathered in Wadleigh Park Wednesday, July 29, for the annual Vale 4th of July Rodeo Grand Marshal’s barbecue.
A line of Vale High School Future Farmers of America students served hamburgers and hot dogs as people arrived and filled the tables.
Dave Westerberg, who shares grand marshal honors with his wife Bonnie, walked among the crowd, shaking hands and sharing smiles.
“This is good. I love it. How can you not love it,” he said.
The Westerbergs said they were both proud and happy to be selected to be the grand marshals for the 107th year of the Vale rodeo.
More than 120 people attended the event.
Anna-Marie Chamberlain, the Vale High School FFA instructor, was pleased with to see the crowd of diners.
“I think we’ve had a great turnout. It is more people than we’ve had in the past couple of years,” she said.
Chamberlain called the barbecue a “great community event” and said the rodeo “is a huge thing for this community.”
The FFA teacher received the volunteer of the year award from the Vale Rodeo Board during the local gathering.
Meredith Bochenek, Ginny Cooper and Will Friend also received appreciation belt buckles from the rodeo board, while Weatherby’s Customs was recognized as the business of the year.
The 2021 Vale Fourth of July Rodeo Queen, Brogan Bair, was on hand for the festivities.
Vale 4th of July Rodeo Board President Jim Mendiola noted the barbecue is the official start of the rodeo schedule each year.
“It gets things kicked off,” he said.
Wrapping up the event, people congratulated the Westerbergs and had their photos taken with them.
“I am still overwhelmed but it’s been a great experience,” said Bonnie Westerberg.
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