A cowboy's hat flies off on the first night of the Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Thursday, July 1. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

The Vale 4th of July Rodeo came back with a buckin’ bang in 2021 after being on a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

The rodeo opened on Wednesday, June 30, with the slack events and continued through the evening of Sunday, July 4, with a close-out fireworks show.

Every night, people from Vale and surrounding towns endured temperatures of 100 or higher to watch events such as mutton bustin’, saddle and bareback bronc riding, wild cow milking, bull riding, barrel racing and cattle roping along with various other rodeo staples.

The action filled the arena for five nights in a row as cowboys and cowgirls smiled and laughed with each other as they geared up behind the chutes but sported faces of concentration inside the arena. Many were excited to just be competing again in such a special arena on America's birthday.

“It felt outstanding to be in front of a packed house again,” said bareback rider Brody Smith. “Vale is one of my favorite rodeos of the year. The arena and the crowd are amazing.”

Brett Hale works in fluid motion to tie up a calf during the month's first rainfall at the 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Thursday, July 1. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Bull riding at the 106th annual 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Saturday, July 3.(ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

Brody Smith in the bareback riding competition at the Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Saturday, July 3. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Saturday night's barrel racing at the annual 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on July 3. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

Team roping at the annual 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Saturday, July 3. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

The 106th running of 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo occurred during record-setting high temperatures. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Candace Osborne at Saturday's barrel racing event at the annual 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

Cassi Johnson at competes in the Vale 4th of July Rodeo barrel racing competition on Sunday, July 4. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

Rodeo clown and pro barrelman Kyle Bode put life and limb on the line during the Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Thursday, July 1. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

The 106th running of 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo occurred during record-setting high temperatures. The crowd enjoyed watching this cowboy do his business in the much-appreciated rain during the cattle roping competition on Thursday, July 1. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Vale Rodeo Queen Tara Ryan, reigning in 2020 and 2021, rides like royalty in the rain during the Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Thursday, July 1. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Two cowboys compete in the steer wrestling event at the Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Sunday, July 4. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

Payton Wright competes in the bareback riding event during record high temperatures at the 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Friday, July 2. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

A cowboy competing in the evening's steer wresting event at the annual 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Saturday, July 2. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

The Suicide Race's lone rider, Riley Prescott, at the 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Friday, July 2. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

A saddle bronc rider at the 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Saturday, July 3. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

A bull rider at the 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Sunday, July 4. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

The Cowgirl Alliance did a light show performance every evening at the 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

Roping at the 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo during rain and record-setting high temperatures Thursday, July 1. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Roping at the 106th annual 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Sunday, July 4. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

Cowboy Luke McKay rides for 81 points during Sunday's ranch bronc event at the annual 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

Gabe McKay competed in ranch bronc directly after his brother Luke at the 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Larry Justus and his son Jace follow behind the lone Suicide Race rider at the annual 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Friday, July 2. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

A rider leaps off their horse during the steer roping event at the annual Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Sunday, July 4. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

A cowboy falls horizontal during the bareback riding event at the 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Saturday, July 3. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

Barrelmen Kyle Bode keeps the crowd energized with jokes throughout the night during the 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Saturday, July 3. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

Brogan Bair of Vale greets the crowd after being crowned the 2022 Vale rodeo queen at the Vale 4th of July Rodeo on Sunday, July 4. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

A barrel racer moves like lightning at sunset on Saturday night, July 3, at the annual 2021 Vale 4th of July Rodeo. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

News tip? Contact multimedia journalists Austin Johnson [email protected] or Angelina Katsanis at [email protected]

RELATED COVERAGE:

4th of July spectacle returns, making for a weekend of fun and competition in Vale

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