Friday, January 28, 2011


What’s a family to do?
There are a number of great events going on in and around the Motor City this weekend:

Rustle up the kids and your favorite boots

If you're looking for something family-friendly, with animals and jaw-dropping action, there's a rodeo event on Saturday, featuring some of the best bull riders (and meanest bulls) in America.

The Palace of Auburn Hills will present the Professional Bull Riders' Touring Pro Division at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29.

Photo courtesy of PBR

Yes, bull riding. 

Imagine climbing onto the back of a 2,000-pound horned animal, bred and born to buck. Ornery only begins to describe the personality of such a creature. Those that appear in a show such as this are likely world champions such as Code Blue or Bones, either one of which could fetch its owner as much as $1 million in a sale.

A traditional sport in America, as well as Canada, Mexico, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia, the goal for the cowboy or bull rider is to hop on the back of the bull and ride it for (at least) 8 seconds. 

It's continuous action, and when there is a lull between riders, the barrel man (also called a rodeo clown), dressed in funny shorts and silly hats, jumps in to amuse the crowd and beckon the attention of the bulls.

Why is the rodeo in the Motor City? More than 100 million viewers tune in each year to the PBR on Versus, NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN.

Tickets, $18, $28 and $38, are available at Palacenet.com, the Palace box office and Ticketmaster locations; all tickets will be $2 more on event day. To charge by phone, call (800) 745-3000.

Cool events outside

Kick up your snow boots at the "2011 Fire & Ice Winter Festival" in downtown Rochester starting tonight at 6 p.m. Some of the activities will include ice skating and tubing, dog sledding, fireworks and a Sunday Soup Cook Off (I'm all over that one).

Festival hours: Jan. 28, 6-9 p.m.; Jan. 29, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Jan. 30, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Check out the complete schedule at Fire & Ice Winter Festival Schedule of Events