Adventure Rides into Town as Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa Hosts the 30th Annual Star-Spangled Shenandoah Rodeo July 2-3, 2011

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Trick horses, professional cowboys, clown stunts, elaborate fireworks shows and more!

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, located 2.5 hours from downtown Chicago, is celebrating the Fourth of July holiday weekend by welcoming the Big Hat Rodeo Company to the Shenandoah Riding Center on property for the 30th Annual Star-Spangled Pro Rodeo, July 2-3, 2011.

This family event is set in the scenic hills of The Galena Territory to a backdrop of natural beauty, and is orchestrated by an exciting professional rodeo organization, Big Hat Rodeo. If that isn't enough, fireworks will follow as a grand finale each night.

The non-stop evenings of entertainment kick off on both nights at 5 p.m. at the Shenandoah Riding Center with a free pre-show “Cowboys & Clowns” program for children of all ages. The program features a well known clown from North Carolina, Trent McFarland.

“Trent is not only witty and amazingly funny but you’ll never be able to guess what he’s going to do next - but you know you’ll be laughing!” said Debbie & Dave Wiese from Missouri, who are avid McFarland rodeo fans.

The highlight of the hour-long presentation is the up close and personal introduction to the animal stars of the show. Children will have the opportunity to ask questions and get their picture taken with their favorite cowboys and clowns, as well as get their autographs.    

The rodeo takes place at 7:30 p.m. each night at the Shenandoah Riding Center. Make sure to wear pink on Friday night though so you can participate in the rodeo’s challenge, “Are You Tough Enough To Wear Pink?” The cowboy’s challenge spectators to dress in pink with a portion of the gate proceeds going to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Fund. The cowboys will perform a variety of stunts including bareback riding, roping, saddle riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, and bull riding.

“The bull riding is spectacular,” said the Schuesters, a family of spectators from last year’s rodeo. “We were amazed by the size of the bulls and how agile they were in trying to buck off the cowboys with all the spinning and kicking!”

Something new this year is that the admission tickets will double as raffle tickets. The purchase of an admission ticket automatically enters spectators into a drawing for a spectacular prize package.

Each night is topped off by an incredible fireworks show by J&M Displays of Yarmouth, Iowa. J&M Displays is one of the largest suppliers of fireworks in the Midwest, providing fireworks and other special effects for all types of events, big and small. Their teams of expert pyrotechnicians are creative and highly trained, which makes for an unforgettable fireworks show.    

“Fireworks are just a natural fit with our 4th of July celebration, but this year's show will be phenomenal and the entire rodeo is a salute to the USA!" said Lenora Calzavara Nolan, marketing director, Big Hat Rodeo Co.

Bring a blanket or your lawn chair for the hillside seating – there's not a bad seat in this natural, outdoor arena. Food and beverages are available on the grounds (no coolers allowed). There is also plenty of free and well orchestrated parking.

Advanced tickets are available at $13 for adults and $8 for kids ages 6-12 until June 30. The advanced tickets may be purchased in Galena at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, Galena State Bank, the Galena Territory Owner’s Club, Keg & Cask, Happy Joe’s, and First Community Bank or in Dubuque at Longhorn Saddlery, Hy-Vee (Locust), and Theisen’s Farm-Home & Auto.

Same day ticket sales will be available at the gate for $15 for adults and $10 for children, ages 6-12. Children under 5 are free. For more information visit or contact Big Hat Rodeo at (815) 648-1971.

Sponsors for the Star-Spangled Shenandoah Pro Rodeo include: Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, Galena State Bank, The Galena Territory Association, Inc., First Community Bank, Happy Joes Pizza, WJOD New Country, and Big Hat Rodeo.

Make the weekend complete by booking the Family Time Package at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa with accommodations for three nights and four days. This package includes $70 Eagle Ridge Dollars to be used anywhere throughout the resort for gas, dining, and more, one large pizza from Piasanos, a 10% discount on any spa service at Stonedrift Spa, a 30% discount on any round of golf and a 25% discount on a one-hour pontoon boat rental. Weekend rates start at $619 (three nights, four days) and can be reserved by calling (800) 892-2269.

Book the Family Time Package over the Fourth of July weekend and get a free round of golf on the resort’s family friendly 9-hole East Course. In addition, play the North, South or General Golf Courses for only $55 per round!

About Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
Located on 6,800 acres amid the rolling hills of northwestern Illinois, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa in Galena, Illinois, is a full-spectrum resort complex located 150 miles west of Chicago. The property showcases superior golf with 63 holes on four acclaimed courses which include the North Course; the South Course; the East Course (9-holes); and the resort’s crowning achievement, The General, an 18-hole, par 72 course with over 250 feet of elevation changes throughout.

Lodging accommodations at Eagle Ridge are delightfully unique with 80 quaint Inn rooms and over 250 villas and distinctive homes to choose from throughout the property. For the resort’s corporate clients Eagle Ridge boasts 15,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space, in addition to beautiful conference homes for small, elegant meetings. The entire facility is also the perfect venue for banquets, weddings and theme parties. Eagle Ridge offers three distinctive restaurants that include award-winning Woodlands Restaurant, along with Spikes Bar & Grill and Paisanos. Other amenities include the tranquil Stonedrift Spa, providing ten treatment rooms for a complete sensory experience, and a state-of-the-art fitness center with a beautiful indoor/outdoor pool, sauna and steam room.

The resort lays claim to numerous industry awards and recognition:

  • For three straight years Golfweek named The General one of the best resort courses in the annual Golfweek’s Best Resort Courses listing in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
  • In 2011, Successful Meetings honored Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa with the “Pinnacle Award” as voted by readers in the Hotels & Resorts category. The resort also won the award in 2008 and 2009.
  • In 2011, Meetings MidAmerica honored Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa with the “Best of MidAmerica” award for outstanding corporate meeting space as voted by readers. The resort also laid claim to the award in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
  • In 2010, Golf Magazine listed The General as the #4 “Best in Illinois” course to play alongside the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” ranking.
  • In 2000, 2008 and 2010, Golf Magazine listed The General among the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” in the magazine’s ranking.
  • In 2009, Golf Digest named The General one of the best golf courses in the state of Illinois for The World’s Greatest Golf rankings, 2009‐2010. The General was named #24 in the state of Illinois. The rankings were put out as a supplement to the May 2009 issue of Golf Digest.
  • In 2009, Golfweek named The General second in the state of Illinois for Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play listing, published July 2009.
  • In 2009, Zagat ranked Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa’s The General, North and South courses in the 2009 America’s Top Golf Courses, sixth edition as ranked and reviewed by players.

The property is the perfect backdrop to an incredible selection of outdoor activities including miles of biking, hiking and horseback riding trails, as well as tennis, hot air balloon rides, boating and fishing on the picturesque 220-acre Lake Galena. For reservations or additional information, call (800) 892-2269 or visit


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Randy Whiteside

Barbara Sue Schubert
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