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Saddle Up and Ride a Bronc

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Saddle Up and Ride a Bronc


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     Labor Day weekend is usually one of the most relaxing holidays of the year. My family and I took a trip to Shipshewana, Indiana to explore the Amish country as well as experience a rodeo in the newly built Michiana Event Center (Mec) in the heart of Shipshewana.

     My grandpa takes a trip to Shipshewana about once a month to watch many different animal sales, walk around many different shoppes, and eat at mouth-watering restaurants including the Blue Gate, Tiffany’s, 5 & 20’s, and Ruthe’s Cafe. After years upon years of my grandpa telling me how great the restaurants as well as the entire town is, I finally took a two-hour drive to Shipshewana this past weekend and I’m thrilled I had the opportunity.

     Before we went to the rodeo, my grandpa, dad, mom, sister, and I went all around town to explore the different stores, restaurants, and outlets including the best donut shoppe in the state: Rise and Roll Bakery. I hadn’t really heard of the bakery until a few years back when former coach, John Kitchel, conducted a fundraiser for our basketball program at Cass. The day the food was delivered to the school, I could see and smell how great the food was. That night I ate many different sweets we ordered and they definitely were mouth-watering.

     At first, we drove to one of my grandpa’s friend’s, Jay Chupp’s market called E & S Sales. His store has almost any product of food from chocolate covered pretzels, ice cream, chips, cookies, jelly, etc. If I were to compare his store to a store in our area, I would compare it to Aldi. All of his products are cheap and taste great. After we checked out, my grandpa took us to meet Jay outside on the porch of his store. After talking to him for a while, I found that he is a very nice and intelligent young man. He explained what kind of supplies he had in his stores as well as the amount of time and help it takes to supply the store.

     What didn’t click until I went to Shipshewana was how many horse and buggies travel through the small town. Everywhere we looked, we saw horses and buggies no matter what part of town we were in. Also, seeing no power lines across any farms made me realize how hard it would be to be Amish without any source of electricity. Put yourself in an Amish person’s shoes for a minute without electricity. They have no cell phones, TV, computers, lights, washing machines, shower, or anything that uses electricity. They literally live their lives as if they are still in the 1800’s. I would like to spend a week with an Amish family to experience their daily lives and see how hard it is to live without electricity. It would be very interesting to live the life without using any electronics after using them everyday for our entire lives.

     After we met Jay, we went to the Rise and Roll Bakery which is about five miles from Shipshewana in the country. As we were driving to the bakery, our mouths were watering thinking about which kind of donut(s) we were going to get. As we pulled in the parking lot, we noticed no cars nor horse and buggies there and the open sign was off. We drove up to the window with the hours on it and realized they closed at 4 P.M. WE WERE DEVASTATED!

     After finding out the devastating news, we went to the Blue Gate restaurant to eat. My grandpa always talks about how good the food is, but I didn’t think it would be that great.  When we sat down, the waiter brought us bread with a delicious peanut butter and apple butter spread. We then ordered our food and began to wait. Little did I know famous people sing in the theatre above the restaurant. Some famous people that have sung there are Josh Turner, Ronnie Milsap, Clay Walker, Tracy Lawrence, Trace Adkins, the Oak Ridge Boys and many more. As our server was bringing our food to our table, my grandpa pointed Gene Watson, a famous singer, who was performing in the theater that night. Our food was absolutely outstanding and I’m thrilled we picked to eat at the Blue Gate. I had mouth-watering meatloaf on sourdough bread with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy.


If you would like to see the list of the singers, go to


     After we stuffed ourselves with food, we headed to the MEC Center to see the rodeo. When we arrived, at least twenty-five buggies filled half of the parking lot with cars filling other spots. The arena was filling up as we went to our seats. After about a half hour, the “little cowboys and cowgirls” rode sheep to kick off the event. Watching them try to stay on the them was quite an experience. Some kids stayed on for about one second while some of them rode clear around the arena for almost 20 or 30 seconds. One kid took it to the next level, never giving up. He ended up doing some trick riding, getting underneath the sheep, staying on for about ten additional seconds.

     After the miniature sheep riding was over, the show kicked off with saddle broncs going first, followed by team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, bull riding, and freestyle bullfighting. All of the events were action packed. By far, my favorite events were bull riding and bull fighting because they involved the most action with the bull fighters versus the bulls.

     Ending the bull riding, the bull fighters ended the rodeo with a thriller. Three bullfighters took on the challenge to entertain the packed crowd inside the MEC center. Mexican fighting bulls faced the fighters throughout the event. The bulls were hyped up and ready to throw someone in the rafters. The bullfighters did an outstanding job, not getting hurt until the last act was over. All of the fighters were in the ring trying to get the last bull in the gate to end the show and one of the fighters wasn’t paying attention at all and he got demolished. The bull came right up behind him, running as hard as possible. He stuck his horns near the dirt and threw the fighter in the air.

     Overall, Shipshewana treated me well and I definitely would recommend it to anyone. Blue Gate had great food while the rodeo provided much entertainment for the fans and spectators. I am definitely going to attend Shipshewana and many rodeos in the future!

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6 Responses to “Saddle Up and Ride a Bronc”

  1. Bowe Brooks on September 10th, 2018 7:41 pm

    I think it is really special that you got to experience this with your family. Most people I know have not been to a rodeo and I was intrigued on hearing about your personal experience with this event!

  2. Montez on September 11th, 2018 1:55 pm

    i think it was great how explain everything into detail. just reading this story made me very hungry

  3. Hugh Gonzalez on September 11th, 2018 8:58 pm

    Very interesting article. I have never been to a rodeo but now i kind of want to go to one.

  4. Kelsey Wise on September 12th, 2018 8:00 am

    I liked your article a lot. I think its cool that your grandpa is so familiar with Shipshewana and that you had the chance to not only meet people he knows, but to go to all the places he likes to go. Experiencing new places is always fun and you can always go back to the Rise and Roll next time before 4 p.m.! Really well written and interesting story.

  5. Levi Dyer on September 24th, 2018 11:27 am

    I’ve heard of it and considered going a few times. This brings back the idea. Maybe I’ll go check it out. Great article, sounds like you had fun.

  6. Arie Martin on October 31st, 2018 1:36 pm

    I read this article, because I like rodeos and good food and donuts. I really liked reading this article, because it is what I like, and what I want to do someday in the future. I liked this article, because it had lots of good facts, and I think everyone would agree.

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Saddle Up and Ride a Bronc