Valley Center Stampede Rodeo & Festival

Welcome to the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo and Festival, brought to you each Memorial Day Weekend by the Valley Center Optimist Club. Our town may be small, but our community’s great love of rodeo is evident by the thousands that show up each year to cheer on their favorite cowboys and cowgirls. This year will be no exception, and we invite you to come enjoy our family-friendly rodeo and community festival on May 25 - 27, 2018.

The town of Valley Center, CA is one of only a few remaining rural equestrian and agriculture-based communities in San Diego County. The Stampede Rodeo and Festival provides the ultimate venue for the community to come together and participate in America’s greatest showcase of patriotism and western heritage… Rodeo!

The 2018 Stampede Rodeo & Festival will kick-off on Friday, May 25 at the Valley Center Community Center located at 28246 Lilac Road in Valley Center. On Saturday, May 26 the grounds will reopen following our town’s historic parade. (Visit the Rodeo Information page for the Schedule of Events.)

The community festival will feature vendors, western arts & crafts, food booths, live bands, a horseshoe tournament, beer gardens and more. After enjoying the festival, the community is invited to head to the rodeo grandstands for a full rodeo event lineup, followed by a live band and dancing on both Friday and Saturday night.

True to the mission of the Optimist Club, we take pride in providing opportunities to showcase our talented youth throughout the weekend through the singing of the National Anthem, Mutton Bustin’, and Junior Barrel Racing. We also offer several volunteer opportunities for youth that want to learn more about rodeo and have a more intimate rodeo experience. The Valley Center Optimist Club donates rodeo proceeds back to local youth programs and provides scholarship opportunities for graduating high school seniors.

Rodeo and community festival attendees are sure to have a great time while also honoring those that gave the ultimate sacrifice to our nation and supporting the betterment of our local youth.

Don’t miss the 2018 Stampede Rodeo & Festival!

Rodeo News!

Valley Center’s Rodeo Highlights Local Talent, Western Heritage, Patriotism & Youth May 20, 2017

Valley Center’s rodeo is designed with the community in mind and represents all things Valley Center. It’s a place for local cowboys and cowgirls to show off their talents to their friends and neighbors; it’s a place for kids to get a taste of rodeo first-hand by getting out of the bleachers and into the arena dirt; and it’s a great place for community members to come together and pay tribute over Memorial Day weekend to those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. Read more »

Calling all kids 10 and under! Here’s your chance to be part of this year’s rodeo fun! May 18, 2017

The Calf Scramble is a fun way for kids to play in the arena and experience rodeo first-hand. There is no sign-up requirement and it’s free to kids 10 and under with a paid rodeo admission. At intermission, the kiddos will be invited to come down into the arena and scramble with the calves. The first to pull a ribbon from the tail of a calf will be awarded a trophy. Each year, the kids have a great time experiencing the dirty side of the old west way of life. It’s often hard to tell who is having more fun, the kids or the calves!

Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Tickets & T-Shirts Available at Five Local Businesses May 15, 2017

This year’s Stampede Rodeo t-shirt logo was generously designed pro bono by wildlife artist Marla Epstein. As an artist, Epstein’s fascination with animals is evident. Whether by painting or sculpting, she has an amazing ability to depict the strength and beauty of any creature. There is no exception in her rendering of the bull featured on this year’s rodeo t-shirt. Read more »

Platinum Spur Sponsor The Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians Shares History with the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo May 8, 2017

The Valley Center Stampede Rodeo is celebrating its 16th year of bringing quality, family-friendly rodeo to Valley Center. Unlike the nearby Lakeside and Norco rodeos, the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo lacks permanent facilities. As such, each year a dedicated group of individuals come together just weeks before each Memorial Day weekend and literally raise a quality rodeo out of a dusty field located on the Belanich property, adjacent to the Valley Center Community Center. Read more »

Stampede Rodeo Mutton Bustin’ Entry Forms Available April 1, 2017

Stampede Rodeo will once again kick off with the crowd favorite Mutton Bustin’ event, where kids reenact the rodeo rituals of bull & bronc riding in miniature form. Just like in those events, the kids are placed onto a sheep in a real bucking chute. When the chute door opens, the sheep take off and riders hang on as long as they can. Every rider is given a participation belt buckle and earns a permanent ear-to-ear grin. News Release »   Entry Form »

Stampede Rodeo Opens Signups for Junior Barrel Racing April 1, 2017

In keeping with our mission to promote the youth of Valley Center, the Stampede Rodeo has created a division of Barrel Racing for young, novice riders. The Junior Barrel Racing event is designed to encourage young riders to get their feet wet in the sport of rodeo, without having to compete against experienced barrel racers. News Release »   Entry Form »

2018 Stampede Rodeo & Festival

Valley Center Stampede & Festival
May 25-27, 2018

To view and purchase pictures from the 2016 Stampede Rodeo, please visit the site of our official photographer

Support Our Sponsors

5/21/2017 to 6/2/2017

Community Service Scholarship

Pictured from left to right: Harrison Bauer, Jay West, Victoria Holtz, Joyce Holmes, & Michael Utter

The Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Committee, in partnership with the Valley Center Optimist Club, is pleased to announce that $2,000 will be awarded to graduating seniors to help defray the cost of the college, university or trade school that they will be attending this fall. Graduating seniors can apply for this community service based scholarship if they volunteered at two or more Valley Center Stampede Rodeos during their high school years (including this year’s rodeo) and cumulatively volunteered at least 20 hours. The application must be competed in its entirety, along with an essay (approximately 500 words) answering the following prompt, “What impact has volunteering at the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo had in your life and how do believe community service in general will affect your future?” All applications must be received by June 1st. The second page of the application provides more information regarding requirements and ways to submit the application. VCHS Seniors will be recognized at the Senior Awards Night. For more information, email the Rodeo Scholarship Coordinator, Trina West, at

Rodeo Queen

One of the highlights each year is the crowning of the Valley Center Rodeo Queen, Junior Queen, Young Miss & Little Miss. The new Valley Center Rodeo Queen is crowned each April and represents the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo each May. To learn more about the pageant and see the current title holders, please visit the Rodeo Queen site.