“The Cowboys Are Back in Town.”
That’s the theme for the Brawley Chamber of Commerce’s Cattle Call Jamboree 2021, a series of events aimed at celebrating family, community, and the Cattle Call Rodeo tradition, important not only to those who reside in Brawley, but all of Imperial County.
Largely sidelined last year due to COVID-19 restrictions (events were held virtually in 2020), the Chamber-led Cattle Call Jamboree 2021 will once again be open to the public as the community looks to celebrate its traditions while following safety regulations.
The return of the Jamboree comes as the Cattle Call Rodeo will once again have spectators in attendance for the three rodeo performances that will be held, two on Saturday, Nov. 13, and one on Sunday, Nov. 14.
On organizing the Jamboree, Chamber Chief Executive Officer Ramiro Urias said, “We know it’s important for the community to get back to its traditions to start recovering.”
The Jamboree encompasses three communitywide events held in the week building up to the rodeo, plus an annual Chamber mixer.
The events, all free to the public, include:
- The Chili Cook-off, to be held Saturday, Nov. 6, at 9 a.m. on Brawley’s Main Street in the Plaza.
- Mariachi Night on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 6 p.m., also in the Plaza.
- The Cattle Call Parade, to be held on Saturday Nov. 13, the first day of the rodeo, starting at 10 a.m. and will follow a route along Main Street.
The Chamber mixer, open to Chamber members, will be held Monday evening, Nov. 8, at the Sun Community Federal Credit Union in Brawley.
Urias said it means a lot to once again hold these community events.
“Brawley is all about its roots and its traditions, and it’s important to the community to hold onto its traditions,” he said.
This year will be the 65th annual Cattle Call Rodeo, one of the largest and longest-running events held in the Imperial Valley, celebrating the region’s Western heritage, specifically the rise of cattle ranches as the Valley was first settled.
Ever since the start of the rodeo (organized separately by the Cattle Call Rodeo Committee), it has been an annual event that has brought friends and families together from throughout the Valley and has even brought people back home to celebrate the Cattle Call tradition.
The week of events organized by the Chamber has become a key part of that tradition. The parade has been around nearly as long as the rodeo, and both the Chili Cook-off and the Mariachi Night have been part of the celebration for more than 30 years.
When COVID-19 struck in the Imperial Valley, making community events impossible, both the Cattle Call Rodeo Committee and the Chamber of Commerce wanted to keep the Cattle Call tradition going.
Following safety protocols, the Rodeo Committee still held the 2020 rodeo but did so without spectators, choosing instead to livestream the rodeo. The Chamber still held events for the community, but they were all done virtually.
“We still wanted to keep the community involved,” Urias said.
This year, as Gov. Gavin Newsom scaled back safety regulations, Urias said, the Brawley Chamber Board of Directors, along with staff, decided to move forward with once again holding the annual events with public attendance, and hence the theme: “The Cowboys Are Back in Town.”
Holding the events will not only be important for the community, he said, but also for the businesses and vendors who depend on Cattle Call as part of their annual fund-raising and as part of their businesses’ income.
Urias said he is anticipating a very good turnout, as the community is ready to come together just as it has in past years.
“People have grown up with these events,” Urias said. “They hold a special place in their heart.”