KUNA, Idaho —
This story originally appeared in the Idaho Press.
After several decades, a rodeo is coming back to Kuna.
The Kuna Rodeo has been in the works for the past four years — and discussed frequently multiple years prior to that — but the biggest roadblock city officials faced was lack of a venue.
That all changed last summer when Lini and Cody Chytka offered their farm and concert venue, Crooked 8, to the city.
“We were sitting here about a year ago, it was July, and Cody’s like, ‘We should have a concert out here. That would be cool.’ And the shop was loaded with tractors and tools. And we’re like, ‘OK,’” Lini Chytka said. “So he called Chris to see if there was anything special we need to do for a semi-private event because it was basically everybody we knew. And that’s how Chris was like, ‘Wait a minute, you have a rodeo arena? We need to talk.’”
Chris Engels, Kuna’s city clerk, has been the city’s point-woman on the rodeo project. She said thanks to the Chytkas and her committee, the Kuna Rodeo is coming to fruition.
“Finally, we are able to bring a rodeo back home to Kuna,” Engels said. “It’s busy, but it’s just been wonderful.”
There’s been no shortage of work in preparation for the rodeo set to take place on Sept. 2 and 3.
Cody had to get a group together and rotate the entire arena, removing each post and panel singularly and putting it back together, so that it faced a different way. When stadium seating proved not to be an option, the Chytkas also set out on building a berm for seating. The dimensions of the berm should be 15 feet tall with a base of 120 feet by 250 feet when it’s complete.
By building a berm, the Chytkas hope to seat more people in a more comfortable way. The admission goal for the rodeo’s first year is 2,500 people over its two days.
The dirt for the berm and rodeo arena has all been donated by different contractors in the area. While there is a decent amount that’s piled up at Crooked 8, Cody said they still need about 150 to 200 more truckloads to finish.
“There’s a lot of work,” Cody said.
But according to Lini, the family is fully committed to the project, not only for the event, but for what it could bring to the kids in the community.
The Chytkas’ daughter Payton is the president of the Kuna High School rodeo club. According to Payton, when she started out, there were 20 members. Now, there’s only 10.
“There’s like all this interest that these kids out here have in it. But there’s no outlet,” Lini said. “We’re hoping that this sparks a whole ‘nother generation so that this rodeo, you know, the rodeo world and rodeo family doesn’t die.”
Engels also sees the value of what the rodeo could bring to Kuna’s community. She said the reason so many people have been invested in the rodeo and volunteering their time and resources is because people “care about Kuna.”
“People are fired up. They’re excited. They want to come. They want to participate. They want to know about it,” Engels said. “It’s just all about that community event that everybody’s gonna look forward to every year. You’re gonna see your neighbors, you’re gonna see your friends, you’re gonna bring your friends and you’re gonna share your hometown with others.”
General admission to the rodeo is $20 for tickets purchased in advance and $25 at the gate. Patrons can purchase tickets in advance online on the city’s website or in person at the clerk’s office. Children 5 years old and younger are free. VIP tickets are also available, more details are available on the city’s website.
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