Lancaster to offer Fourth of July fireworks, pro bull riding

Eight-year-old Brodie shows off his lasso skills on council member Marvin Crist at a press conference Thursday to announce Lancaster’s Independence Day celebrations.

LANCASTER – The countdown to Independence Day has begun, and the City of Lancaster is gearing up for its annual Fourth of July celebration.

“Independence Day offers an opportunity for us to remember our forefathers’ courage in founding this great nation,” said council member Marvin Crist. “When I was a little boy, I remember the Fourth of July was always watermelon, fireworks, and getting together with family…we want to add bull riding to that list from now on.”

The City of Lancaster has teamed up with the Lancaster Auto Mall and the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds for its annual Fourth of July celebration.

“We invite you to join us as we commemorate America’s independence by enjoying the sport of bull riding, topped off by a spectacular fireworks display,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris in a city news release.

Gates at the AV Fairgrounds open at 4 p.m., on July 4, when attendees can enjoy live entertainment, food from local vendors, and unique arts and crafts.

It’s bull riding time for the Fourth of July!

Pro Rodeo announcer Don Jesser describes the lineup for the Professional Bull Riding show.

From 7 to 9 p.m., members of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Touring Division will take on the toros live in the AV Fair arena.

“Come on out and enjoy the spills and thrills of professional bull riding,” said Pro Rodeo announcer Don Jesser.

This year’s PBR opening ceremonies will feature the Golden Stars Skydiving Team. The troupe will jump out of a Cessna 206 amidst skydiver’s smoke, flags and streamers.

Xtreme Bronc Riding (XBR) has also been added to the PBR competitions. In this event, professional XBR cowboys compete against the toughest bucking horses in the rodeo.

“It will take you back to when they rode them when they were wild, when the west was really wild,” said Jesser. “They have to do all the work in the arena to get the horse saddled and ride him across the finish line, and the first one to do that is going to be the winner.”

Rounding out the event is the Pacific Coast Jr. Bull Riders exhibition, featuring youngsters competing in calf and steer riding, and “mutton busting” – where kids compete to see who can stay on the back of a running sheep the longest.

Tickets for this portion of the event are $20, $12, and $5.

FREE fireworks spectacular

The grandstands will open to the public at 9 p.m. for a free fireworks spectacular beginning at 9:30 p.m.

Seating for the fireworks show is first-come, first-served. Since grandstand seating is limited, attendees are encouraged to bring folding chairs or blankets. Attendees can also sit on the grass. Pets and alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Preferred parking is $5; free parking is also available.

Tickets for the Professional Bull Riding show are on sale at, where patrons can purchase and print their tickets. A special 50% discount package deal is available, where attendees spend $25 and get $50 worth of fun. This PBR 4-Pack package includes four admission tickets, four hot dogs, four chips and four large soft drinks, and is available at

For more information, call 661-575-9800 or visit

The City of Lancaster reminds residents that the setting off of any and all fireworks, including those labeled “Safe and Sane,” is illegal in Lancaster. “Don’t take the chance of ending up in an emergency room or a jail cell this Fourth of July,” said L.A. County Assistant Fire Chief Gerald Cosey. “Instead, we invite everyone to join us for the City’s Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza.”

  11 comments for “Lancaster to offer Fourth of July fireworks, pro bull riding

  1. Parent
    July 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Can’t we declare a holiday from the pettiness? Happy 4th of July everyone!!

  2. sacryinshame
    July 1, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Soooo, if fireworks are illegal, why are they doing them at the fair grounds and why do they do them at the ball field. Don’t get me wrong, I personally hate explosives and fireworks. I would like to know why the double standard. Also, if they are against the law and people face a stiff fine if they are caught doing them or watching someone else do them, why don’t the deputies come when you report people in your neighborhood doing them? Every year, close to Oldfield and Ranchwood, there is a family that gets a bunch from Nevada and puts on a show. Neighbors sit outside and watch. Two years ago, they started a big fire in a neighbors yard and tree. Luckily they put it out with a garden hose.
    I think it’s irresponsible to put on the big show. It’s another case of, “do as I say, not as I do.”

  3. Letlow
    June 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Mutton busting? Seriously??
    This “sport” sounds disgusting and cruel to both children and the poor bleating sheep! This might not be as cruel as dog fighting but it’s pretty damn close.

    • QHResident
      June 29, 2012 at 8:57 am

      No, not close…not even. It’s kids riding a sheep. Have you ever even visited a farm? You might lose your mind watching them get sheered.

      • Letlow
        June 29, 2012 at 9:31 am

        I don’t believe the sheep want to be rode around by screaming children in front of a bellowing audience. Maybe that’s why the sheep are running for their lives. I note the contest awards the kid who stays on the longest. What happens when the kids are inevitably thrown off the sheep face first into the dirt?
        And yes, I have been to many farms but I have never witnessed the maltreatment you refer to as shearing. That is animal cruelty at its finest. Circuses and all that crap that abuse animals for public entertainment creeps me out. I guess I must be a bona fide tree hugger then? Or maybe I just believe in treating people (and animals) the way you want to be treated.

        • Leave me alone
          June 29, 2012 at 10:34 am

          It’s funny how you refer to something as “maltreatment” when you just said you have never witnessed the activity. Actually, if you don’t sheer them, it creates a hygiene issue which can make the animals sick.

          I think you are worrying about nothing. sheep are much stronger (i.e. able to carry children without injury) than you give them credit for. They are also much more comfortable with people and children than you give them credit for. How is this any different that grown people riding horses? And if a kid get hurt, oh well. Kids learn from falls, bumps, bruises, and scrapes. It’s an incredibly low likelihood of any serious injury.

Comments are closed.