This year, the village of Corona, New Mexico, held its annual Corona Days on July 29-30 , and it turned into a wild one. Corona may be small in population but it is definitely big in heart. People who grew up here traveled from around the country to celebrate the place they all love.
Corona has a population of 150 people, something that is not readily apparent when you pull into town. With the recent influx of renewable energy activity, Corona and the surrounding communities are seeing ongoing growth.
While Corona is modest in size with one general store, a motel, and a restaurant, one of the local residents explained, “In Corona, all the students are like one big family. We all look out for each other here, and everyone knows each other.”
Due to its proximity to Western Spirit, Pattern’s employees have plenty of stories about great meals from El Corral Cafe, shopping at the Highway 54 cow spot- painted General Store (run by a former Mayor), and the delightful Corona Motel and RV with its individually themed rooms.
Pattern was a proud sponsor of this year’s event and takes great pride in supporting the community.
There were different events throughout the day, including senior bingo. The main event was the kids’ rodeo at the Corona open-air arena. Participants competed in a variety of rodeo skills, including goat roping.
Two, $600 gift certificates for saddle and tack were the coveted prizes in the kids’ goat roping competition. Both winners were thrilled, especially Jason Vigel, who said with a smile, “I never win anything!”
Friday night was capped off by a dance at the school auditorium, and then everyone got ready for Saturday.
On Saturday, the day’s events commenced with a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial in Corona Cemetery, followed by the Corona parade led by honor guard from the U.S. Air Force. Along the parade route, folks cheered on law enforcement and emergency service vehicles, the previous graduating high school classes, the autism awareness truck, and of course, the tricked-out hot rods.
The local Future Farmers of America hosted a brisket lunch at the school cafeteria, which was run by students in a festive mood.
A good portion of the town showed up and, as one person shouted after seeing all the food on their plate, “Lunch? This is like two dinners!”
The National Anthem and a Downpour
As evening arrived, it was time for the rodeo, which began with the Ranch Bronc Riding competition presented by Pro Rodeo Cowboy, Taos Muncy.
Everyone was in high spirits as the Bronc Riders gathered in the arena and lined their horses side by side. As they stood ready, a young woman rode out on her horse carrying the American flag. The National Anthem began to play and the cowboys removed their hats just before a storm rolled in.
Dark clouds gathered all day, and suddenly a downpour broke into the open-air arena.
People in Corona are tough—the cowboys and their horses remained steadfast for the National Anthem, and the young woman with the American flag kept riding. A few minutes later, a group of soaked cowboys started the Bronc Riding.
Though coated head to toe in rain and mud, the cowboys and competitions never stopped. Even the spectators were sinking in mud up to their ankles.
In the end, covered in mud and soaked to the bone, four champions came out on top: J.R. Shafer, Wade Gutierrez, Kyler Bell, and Tom McCormick won the 2022 Ranch Rodeo in Corona. All success was well-earned at this year’s wild weather event.