Ellensburg Rodeo Kicks Off Labor Day Weekend - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Ellensburg Rodeo Kicks Off Labor Day Weekend

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 ELLENSBURG, WA.- the Ellensburg Rodeo is a tradition the community has preserved for over a hundred years.

 Rodeo director Rick Cole told us this event has become one of the largest in the world, attracting crowds that grow each year.

"People love the old traditions and this preserves the old traditions of rodeo and western life," Cole told us at KNDO

 It's not an easy sport to watch though, some of these riders narrowly escape being trampled. 

 Spencer Wright a local buck rider, competing in the rodeo, says he's had a few close encounters, and it isn't a sport for the faint of heart.  

"Sometimes you get bucked off and you hit the fence, but probably being in the box is the most dangerous," Wright told us.

  Wright says the few seconds before the rider and bull are released in the pen leaves him a bit antsy at times.

  But he's been riding for nine years so the nerves aren't as bad anymore.

 It's the cheers of the crowd and sharing stories with his friends that keeps him coming back each year.

     Event directors told us they're expecting to see bigger crowds than in previous years, so they encourage everyone to come out and support this local tradition.