The more things change, the more things remain the same — and that’s A-OK at the Elgin Stampede.

The 71st annual rodeo kicks off Wednesday and runs through Saturday, and both Stampede President Ty Hallgarth and Secretary Lara Moore said the order of events and activities throughout the week should be on par with recent years.

“What we’ve been doing has been working,” Moore said. “We’re just trying to keep getting better, but we have a lot of successful shows. We’re not trying to change it wildly.”

That means many of the staples of recent years will be back, including miniature bull riding, which has gained popularity since its inception.

“I think people just like watching those kids get on (the mini bulls),” said Hallgarth, who is in his first year as president of the rodeo. “They seem to try just as hard as the older guys do. I don’t know why it’s so popular, but Joseph has started doing it and other places around have, too.”

For the complete story, see the July 3 edition of The Observer.