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  • Sisters Rodeo

    Sisters Rodeo is saddled up and ready to spur out of the chutes in the 83rd running of “The Biggest Little Show in the World.” Events get started with the rip-snortin’ excitement of Xtreme Bulls on Wednesday, June 7. Thursday is slack, then the main event bursts onto the scene Friday through Sunday, June 9-11. The all-volunteer Sisters Rodeo Association continues to enhance the audience and contestant experience at the Rodeo. They have installed new low-energy, high-output LED lamps that dramatically improve illumination for the June 7-11 event. The lights make for a better experience for attendees of evening performances — and illuminate the arena for high-definition TV coverage. Once again, the Sisters Rodeo will be live telecast on the Cowboy Channel and RFD TV. The Sisters Rodeo is on the pro tour — an acknowledgement that the event is among the top PRCA rodeos in the country. Each rodeo performance starts with the Wild Horse Race, and this year the purse is a record $14,000. That wild and wooly event is the featured image on this year’s event poster created by Sisters artist Dyrk Godby. This year marks the return of  specialty act Tomas Garcilazo, representing the tradition of “La Charreria” which is a skill performed through the generations only by the Mexican charro. Charros take extreme pride in their highly developed horsemanship and roping abilities. The Saturday Rodeo Parade on June 10, starting at 9:30 a.m. in downtown Sisters, will be led by Queen Sadie Bateman. “She’s quite a cowgirl,” said Hank Moss of the Rodeo board. “She’s not just a queen — she can rope and ride, too.”

  • Sisters grows on you

    By Bill Bartlett Rural chic. Best of the West. Sisters goes by many descriptions. The town has grown from Pop. 679 in 1990 to 959 in 2000 to 2,038 just 10 years later. Now sitting officially at 3,286 as of 2023, Sisters has not lost its small-town charm — but it has endured some growing pains. There are still no electric traffic lights, and you can get from one corner of town to the other in under five minutes, three on a good day. Sisters acts bigger with its outsize festivals, upscale shops and services, eclectic cuisine from Himalayan to Nashville-style fried chicken, and a vibrant arts community not often found in cities four or five times its size. Culturally it runs the gamut. There’s the Sisters Rodeo now in its 83rd year that is the official start to summer. About as Wild West as it gets, with an accompanying parade. Summer ends with the Sisters Folk Festival hosting a dozen-plus acts from the top tier of bluegrass, Americana, Nashville, Tejano, blues and Cajun. The infrastructure of Sisters is rock solid, with abundant artesian water, plenty of electric, and a grid of bike trails and unobstructed walking paths. The lights are low, intentionally. This is a Dark Sky community. And a Tree City USA town. Sisters regularly shows up on Best Places to Live or Visit lists. At only 1.88 square miles, not much big bigger than New York’s Central Park, Sisters will probably top out at 4,000 as few buildable lots remain. There is no appetite among inhabitants to expand the urban growth boundary. Sisters is a model for live-work situations, which have attracted a range of entrepreneurs who live upstairs over their restaurant, studio, gallery, or shop. As the housing frenzy has cooled a bit, Sisters is in the midst of a commercial renaissance, with over 125,000 square feet of rentable space completing or breaking ground in 2023. Our schools are one of the biggest drivers of younger, tech-savvy workers looking to get out of hectic city living. Sisters High School is ranked No. 1 in Deschutes County by US News & World Report. The school district boasts CTE programs in flight science, guitar building, CAD, software coding, and construction. There are roughly 1,600 housing units, with another 350 under construction or planned. Eighty-four percent are single unit; 77 percent are owner occupied. Sisters is home to approximately 520 seasonal residents. The city is served by a seven-member Planning Commission and a full-time Community Development Department.

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