When summer has almost come to an end, it’s essential to give your RV one last hoorah before you pull over the dust cover and bunker down for the colder weather. If you’re looking for that exciting, action-packed event to end the season on a high note, then Rodeo of the Ozarks at Parsons Stadium is it.
Held in Springdale, Arkansas, this four-day rodeo in June is a family-friendly event that has been an integral part of the Springdale calendar since 1944. There’s bull riding, tie-down roping, cowboy contests, and even a rodeo queen with a blingy belt buckle.
Rodeo of the Ozarks is also one of the largest rodeos of its kind in the country, with tens of thousands of visitors attending to view over 500 competitors. In the past, the first day has been free of charge to attend.
For the remaining days, competition is rife to see who will come out as champions in their field. On the final day, spectators are treated to a rodeo parade and fireworks with entertainment for the kids, bands, and patriotic displays.
While you’re in the area, you may as well discover what else the fourth-largest city in Arkansas has to offer. Visit the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, wander through the Botanical Gardens of Ozark, or go for a jog around Lake Fayetteville Park. Spend your time wisely in Springdale to ensure your RV vacation is as memorable as possible.
When the time comes to organize your RV vacation, don’t forget to purchase your tickets in advance for the Rodeo of the Ozarks. They are available on the organizer’s website and are often up for sale one month before the rodeo kicks off. Admission for the first day in the past has been free, but admission and parking fees may apply for the remaining three days.
Springdale is split between Benton and Washington Counties in Northern Arkansas. It’s a beautiful area to drive in thanks to its location on the Springfield Plateau in the Ozark Mountains. While the roads used to be winding and particularly unpleasant for those with motion sickness, improvements have been made in recent years.
There is a controlled-access route through the area, including an interstate connection with Fort Smith and Kansas City. For full traffic and driving information on the area, download an app such as IDrive Arkansas or ArDOT.
Upon arriving in Springdale on I-49 from the north or south, or US-412 from the east or west, either road will lead you near the Rodeo of the Ozarks. This event has a prominent, easy-to-spot location on the corner of Emma Avenue and Highway 265, east of Downtown Springdale.
When it comes time to drive to the Rodeo of the Ozarks, you are going to have to allow extra time for the complexities of parking. Not only do you have a large vehicle with which to contend, but many parking choices. You can pay for parking on site, with some sizing restrictions possibly in place, or head to the Jones Center for Families with parking available there.
Highway 265, adjacent to the airport and near the rodeo, also has a few parking spaces that may be large enough. Otherwise, Emma Avenue has on-street parking that may appeal too. You may like to call in advance to arrange RV parking or consider public transportation.
While there are shuttles to transfer rodeo attendees from the various parking areas to the stadium, they aren’t your only options. If you would prefer to set up camp and not move your RV, you can call for a taxi or private ride service provider as well. Some buses may be in operation, but you will need to check if the schedule aligns with the event opening and closing times.
The rodeo may be so good that you don’t want to leave, but you’ll need to when it is time to sleep. There is no onsite camping available due to a lack of space, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be far from it in your RV. Springdale has many different campgrounds, RV resorts, and parks to house visitors for days or weeks at a time. You are spoiled for choice in Northern Arkansas.
Expand your horizons to within 15 miles of Parsons Stadium and relish in the many different accommodation options that await your inspection. Most boast service hookups for your convenience, and some are as close as four miles from the heart of the action. Book in advance to ensure you get your first pick during this busy event.
Even though the parking areas can be quite a significant walking distance from the rodeo, that won’t matter. Rodeo of the Ozarks provides shuttles from most arranged parking sites so that you won’t need to walk too far. Once you’re onsite, you can navigate the grandstands and stadium on foot without any hassle. Pack light to remain as comfortable as possible.
Even at the tail end of summer, you won’t be in a hurry to pack away your summery attire. Light, breathable layers are recommended, along with comfortable footwear. Don’t forget your cowboy hat and boots to feel like you’re part of the rodeo crew. It also wouldn’t hurt to pack some long-sleeved sweaters for night time back at your RV.
Because of the lack of space in the grandstands for anything other than yourself, it pays to pack light. Bring cash and credit, but leave your coolers and strollers in your RV for use once the Rodeo of the Ozarks is over and you head to your next activity. If you’re feeling peckish, there are plenty of concession stands to satisfy the hunger, so leave your snack packs and sandwiches in your RV fridge.
Arkansas likes to turn the weather up for the Rodeo of the Ozarks, so don’t forget to pack your sunscreen. You are going to need a sunhat, sunglasses, and bug spray as well. If you intend on being away from home for some time, bring any medical supplies and prescriptions you’ll likely need during this time. Pop a first aid kit in your RV as a ‘just in case’ measure, too.
How you cook can depend on where you choose to stay for the night. Some campgrounds offer communal cooking and permission to use your onboard RV kitchen appliances. Others even allow charcoal grills or campfires. Ask your host before you begin. If you’re low on supplies, there is a convenience store with snacks and other goods across the road from the stadium.
There’s nothing like a restaurant dinner to bring everyone together as a family, and Springdale can deliver. From ice cream and burgers through to fast food outlets, Mexican, and southern fare, there are options galore. Many of the best eateries in Springdale are within a short driving distance of the rodeo and local accommodation providers.
Because Rodeo of the Ozarks doesn’t allow you to bring in outside food and beverages, they make up for it with a delicious range of food on site. There are concession stands dotted around the rodeo that will satisfy both your hunger and thirst. Make sure you bring cash as well as credit, as many will only accept cash payments.
Security is reasonably tight at Rodeo of the Ozarks, which is helpful to be aware of before you attend. If you can bring only the bare basics with you, then it will allow you to get through the entrance screening process far quicker. Anything you bring in is subjected to a search, and weapons, bottles, cups, food, video cameras, and laser lights are a few of the many prohibited items.
Even though summer is usually on its way out during the rodeo, temperatures are still reasonably high throughout June. You can expect anywhere from 70 degrees up to 90 during the day, and a slight drop once the sun disappears for the evening. Pack a few extra blankets for overnight, but you won’t need too many layers on during the day. Bring plenty of water onboard to drink and replenish your RV on the road.
If you require medical assistance at any time during Rodeo of the Ozarks, approach an official for help. There is likely to be a first aid center on site with basic medical supplies. If you need immediate or urgent assistance, dial 9-11. The closest medical center is nearby at a little under two miles away from the rodeo.