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2021 mini schedule

Tentative dates for 2021 event season

Published in Willits Weekly - 5/6/2021 edition

After a bummer of a rodeo season last year, Willits Frontier Days is excited to move forward with our events this year, announcing tentative dates for events in the chart below, and on our newly updated website

All events, times and dates are subject to change to make sure this year's happenings are being held in appropriate and approved ways.

Willits Frontier Days is holding a Sweetheart contest this year as well, and will encourage the public to purchase tickets in advance of the events to minimize cash handling, ticket taking, and long lines at the events themselves.

Tickets will be sold in limited quantities and will be available by contacting the Sweetheart contestants. Sanitation stations, signage, and other coronavirus precautions will also be in place for all events.

At the moment, we have one contestant for the Sweetheart, but we are encouraging any girl aged 16 to 20 to apply.

Contestants must be willing to sell tickets, compete in a poise and personality contest, model Western wear, give a prepared speech, ride a pattern, answer equestrian questions, and represent Willits Frontier Days at local events. Contestants also earn 15 percent of their ticket sales, making the contest an excellent summer job.

Applications for Sweetheart, and a complete list of qualifications and other information, are available now on the website under the "Sweethearts" tab.

Contestants can start selling tickets on Wednesday, May 12. Watch the Willits Frontier Days Rodeo Facebook page and next week's Willits Weekly for contact information for the Sweetheart contestants.

While finessing and finalizing details is still underway, please be understanding, respectful and helpful to make this an achievable goal so that everyone can have a chance to celebrate the Fourth of July in the best way Willits knows how.

Please keep tuned to the Willits Frontier Days website, or social media pages, as well as Willits Weekly for more details as they become available.

All events, times and dates are subject to change – these are tentative dates.

Willits Frontier Days / Do not reprint without proper attribution

A little about us:

In 1926, the Willits Development Association came up with the idea of sponsoring a community activity to raise funds for the construction of a much-needed hospital. Through the efforts of many prominent citizens including Dr. Raymond Babcock, Frank Taft, Judge E.M. Whitney, Judge Fred Foord, Deed Wimmer, Frank and Bill Whitney, Joe Quadrio, Edward Morris, Carl Edenfeldt, Allen Sacry and the American Legion Post, a plan was hatched and the first Willits Frontier Days Rodeo occurred in July 1927.

It was coincidentally at this same time that Frank R. Howard, the young son of Ridgewood Ranch and Seabiscuit owner Charles S. Howard, was fatally injured in an automobile accident at the ranch. The boy's doctor, Dr. Babcock approached Howard about erecting a hospital in Willits in memory of young Frank who did not survive the fatal crash. Charles Howard agreed and decided to build the Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital shortly thereafter.

Even though the original idea of having a rodeo to fund construction of a hospital was no longer necessary, the American Legion decided to carry on with their plans for the event anyway.

The celebration was an instant success, and the American Legion ran the show until 1932 when the Willits Volunteer Fire Department accepted the leadership role. Looking to the future, the fire department borrowed money to improve the rodeo grounds by having individual volunteer firefighters sign promissory notes.

The Willits Frontier Days Association was born and incorporated in 1950 when a group of local businessman and ranchers took over the proverbial 'reins' of the event. The continuity of Willits Frontier Days has remained unbroken since 1926.

A non-profit organization, Willits Frontier Days still operates as it did in the beginning with no individual or organization getting any financial reward. Residents and clubs work together to put on the events and decide together how to spend the profits of each show to benefit our community.

Interested in getting involved and helping the tradition of Willits Frontier Days continue in to the future? Call 707-459-6330 or email us at: for information on joining.

Donate to Willits Frontier Days

Willits Frontier Days is a non-profit organization and we work hard to use monies earned to improve the grounds, support the spirit of rodeo, contribute back to the community and keep this cherished tradition alive and well in Willits for many more years to come.

Currently, we are looking to totally upgrade our aging grandstands. Any amount helps and will be greatly appreciated.