The Great Northern Classic Rodeo is back in 2021. We hope to see you Labor Day Weekend in Superior, Wisconsin! 

2020-21 GNCR QUEEN 
Kelly Johnson

Weekend Schedule

Tough Enough to Wear Pink 


6:15 Pre-Rodeo Events

7:00 p.m. Rodeo performance

Mutton Bustin' during Intermission


6:15 Pre-Rodeo Events 

7:00 p.m. Rodeo Performance 

Mutton Bustin' during Intermission


10:00 a.m.  Church Service, featuring Evangelist Lee Downey of the Six Seasons Christian Riders

11:30 Miracle Rodeo 

1:30 Watermelon Crawl 

2:00 p.m. Rodeo Performance

Calf Chase during Intermission


Rodeo Events

Bareback Bronc Riding:  The rigging is a wide leather belt that fits around the horse's midsection, just behind its shoulders.  The rider holds onto its stiff leather handle and leans back as far as his arm will allow while positioning his heels over the horse's shoulders for the first jump out of the chute.  This is called "marking the animal out."  The rider's free hand cannot come in contact with the horse during the 8-second ride.  Each time the horse kicks, the cowboy brings his knees toward his body, keeping his heels against the horse and his toes turned out (called "spurring), then stretches his legs out again.  SPONSORED BY BARKERS ISLAND INN

Calf Roping   Calf roping requires the contestant to rope a calf, dismount, run down the rope to "flank" the animal by picking it up and laying it on the ground with all four legs pointing in the same direction and tie three legs securely.  His time ends when he throws his hands in the air after tying the legs, although the roper must remount and allow slack in the rope for five seconds.  He is disqualified if the calf gets loose within those five seconds.  In this event, the horse needs to actually work without a rider and must be highly skilled. 

Saddle Bronc Riding: This requires the cowboy to sit upright in a saddle on the horse, holding onto a buck rein that is attached only to the horse's halter and move his legs from the knees down in a back-and-forth motion resembling the movement of a rocking chair.  His feet must remain in the stirrups with his toes turned out.  He must mark the horse out by keeping his heels in the well of the horse's neck on the first jump and may not touch himself or the horse with his free hand.  The most physically grueling of all the rodeo events. 

Breakaway Roping: This requires the contestant to rope a calf in the quickest time, with the rope breaking away from the saddle horn when the calf is caught and pulls the "slack" out of the rope.  The catch is considered clean if it passes over the calf's head and is pulled taut anywhere on its body-even one heel!  Times can often be as quick as just a few seconds.  A barrier is stretched to allow the calf a "head start" and 10 second penalty applies if the cowgirl starts too early.

Steer Wrestling:  The object of steer wrestling, also called "bulldogging," is to lean onto the back of a steer, catch it from behind the horns, quickly slide from the horse to the ground to stop the steer's forward momentum and wrestle the animal to the ground with all four of its legs pointing in the same direction.  The bulldogger is assisted by a hazer, who rides along the right side of the steer to keep it running straight.  The hazer is extremely important and can play a great part in whether the rider "gets down on his steer."  

Barrel Racing: A speed event where times are measured in thousandths of a second with electric timers.  Barrel racing is set on a cloverleaf pattern marked by three 55-gallon drums placed on the two sides and far end of the arena.  Beginning and ending from the same point, the rider goes first to either the right or left barrel, circles it, crosses to the other side and circles that barrel, rides to the far barrel and circles it, then rides full speed back across the starting line.  At one world's final rodeo, the world title was decided by 1/100th of a second in the last run of the last performance! Sponsored by Bernicks Pepsi

Team Roping :  A header ropes the animal (around both horns, the neck or half the head) and wraps the rope around the saddle horn ("dallying") to tow the steer and position it for the heeler to rope both back legs (roping just one leg earns a five second penalty).  The contest is not over until the heeler catches the legs and dallies, the header has turned to face the heeler, and both ropes are tight.  This action is used often on ranches to this date; it allows a steer to be handled in the open pasture if it has been injuried and needs to be doctored or branded. 

Bull Riding: Holding a flat, braided "bull rope" that has been placed around the animal just behind its shoulders, the cowboy threads one end of the rope around his gloved hand and pulls it taut.  During the ride, he tries to keep his body close to his hand with his legs slightly forward toes out and heels planted firmly in the bull's side.  However, the loose hide generally found on rodeo bulls makes them extremely difficult to ride and the size of these animals magnifies the possibility of injury.  The rider cannot touch his free hand to himself or the bull during the eight second time, and as in bronc and saddle riding, two judges score his ride and the performance of the animal.  Sponsored by Fond-Du-Luth Casino



Other Events

Mutton Bustin'


For a child to be eligible for “Mutton Bustin”, the child must be no less than 5 years of age and may not weigh more than 50 pounds. PROTECTIVE HEAD GEAR IS PROVIDED.  Mamas if you don't want your babies to grow up to be Cowboys, you best keep them away from Mutton Bustin'. Sure, it looks innocent enough, but does anybody really know how many Cowboys got THEIR first real taste of rodeo riding from a sheep?

Young Cowboy and Cowgirl "wanna bes" will get their chance in the arena 
as they mount their trusty sheep and head for the thrill of their young lives!

Watermelon Crawl

All the fun begins when you put a watermelon in the middle of the rodeo arena with six kids that are blindfolded and place around the edges of the arena. When they're all ready, all six of them will start to crawl to the watermelon! With the help of the rodeo spectators and the rodeo clown eventually one will find the watermelon and win an awesome prize.  

Calf Chase

This is a great game that kids ages 12 and under are encouraged to play! If you have a lot of energy and like to run…. a lot. Make sure to get in the fun. All participating Cowboys & Cowgirls are put in the arena with several calves. One of the calves will have a hankie attached to its tail! All the Cowboys & Cowgirls start to chase the calves and the “lucky” one that gets the hankie will win a special prize! Mom get the bleach out!

Miracle Rodeo


Our Miracle Rodeo hosts cowboys and cowgirls with special needs.  This event is held on Sunday morning at 11:30 AM in the VIP building on the fairgrounds.

These contestants receive an official rodeo back tag and participate in our rodeo event stations consisting of stick-horse barrel racing, horseshoes, cowboy hat toss, sawdust quarter search, and (our favorite) the "horse apple" toss, to name just a few.  Our rodeo clowns, cowboys and cowgirls join in the fun to make this rodeo especially rockin'!

Supported by donations from our local businesses, this rodeo recognizes that all our entrants are winners!

Want to help make a miracle happed?  Contact the rodeo office at 715-81-RODEO or 218-428-6600.    


Our Rodeo is a non-profit organization, which means we need a whole lot of help to put this event on. The more help we can get the easier it will be for everyone! We need volunteers for parking cars, selling tickets, watching gates, kitchen help, selling merchandise, crowd control, kids games, and more. We have our volunteer sign up meeting on the Thursday prior to the rodeo which will be on August 31st at 7 PM in the curling building at the Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds. At this time everyone will decide what volunteer jobs they would like to do. We ask that all volunteers are at least 18 years of age. You can just show up at the volunteer meeting or call the Rodeo at 715-817-6336 or 218-428-6600 if you're interested in volunteering to work at the Rodeo.  All volunteers are given a free T-shirt when they show up for work.

The volunteer meeting will be held Thursday, September 2nd, 2021 at 6 p.m. at the Curling Club at the Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds




General Admission


Adult $14.00 in advance
Adult $15.00 at the gate

Child (6-12) $7.00 in advance
Child (6-12) $8.00 at the gate

Ages 5 & under FREE

Seniors (65+) $7.00 in advance

Seniors (65+) $8.00 at the gate

Military $8.00 in advance

Military $9.00 at the gate

Reserved Advance Sales

Adult $16.00

Child (6-12) $9.00

Ages 5 & under FREE

Seniors (65+) $9.00

Military $10.00 


3-Day Pass

Adult  $35.00

Child  $20.00

Posts are coming soon
Stay tuned...


​We have many levels of sponsorships for the Great Northern Classic Rodeo. If you are interested in a sponsorship you can call the Rodeo at 715-817-6336 or 218-428-6600. We especially want to thank all of our sponsors for their continued support in this event. We have been able to offer donations of money to North Country Ride, The Boys and Girls Club of Superior, Kinship mentoring program, Western Wishes, The American Cancer Society and others. We hope to continue this with the help of everyone involved.