Rodeo is the main event for Creston this year

John Fiscalini ends up on ground during the steer riding competition at the Creston Classic Rodeo in Creston, Ca., on Saturday, September 15, 2012.
John Fiscalini ends up on ground during the steer riding competition at the Creston Classic Rodeo in Creston, Ca., on Saturday, September 15, 2012. The Tribune

One of Bob Giubbini’s favorite things about volunteering for the Creston Classic Rodeo is wrapping the horns on the roping steers and preparing them to bolt into the arena.

“It’s always interesting reaching in the shoot and smacking them on the rear to get them going. It’s just something you normally wouldn’t do in my profession,” the retired certified public accountant said. “It’s country.”

The Creston resident, now retired from the Bay Area, humbly described why he loves the area. First, it’s in his roots. His family owns Rotta Winery, San Luis Obispo County’s oldest.

But, like all of his neighbors, it’s also about how helpers in this weekend’s staple North County event bring a can-do attitude.

Each year, the people in the little town of Creston come together to prepare for the rodeo months in advance — holding meetings, maintaining the rodeo grounds and seeking local sponsors.

Then they put on the three-day show while also running the concession stands and booths and cleaning up after it’s done.

“Rodeo really pulls everyone together. It’s not plastic like the city everybody is just genuine,” Giubbini said. “I look forward to it every year.”

With its sprawling ranches and tight-knit community core, Creston has been hosting the rodeo since 1996 to fund its first community center.

About $130,000 has been raised, money that also comes from fundraisers and dues from community groups.

Volunteers have raised enough to complete the community center’s first phase by early 2013, organizers said.

The plan is to move into the area’s former Cal Fire station, which was leased to the community Aug. 21 from San Luis Obispo County.

The first phase of its remodel is due in the coming months to outfit the building, which can hold about 100 people, with accessible bathrooms, a kitchen and fire sprinklers.

Locals have donated all the design and architectural work to the project. The people of Creston will continue to raise money for future expansions of the building.

Giubbini’s neighbors, Tom and Linda Hansen, say everyone believes that working together is the best way to make that happen — just like with the rodeo.

“We started as volunteers, digging ditches and hanging lights and all those things you need to do to get it done. Everyone steps right up,” Tom Hansen said.

The couple was honored as rodeo grand marshals last year for their dedication in town. Tom Hansen is now on the rodeo’s board of directors and Linda Hansen plans events such as the grand entry, seeks sponsorships and does the programs.

Al Webster, 65, says he longs to help out but his cattle ranching, trucking and hay businesses keep him busy.

“He’s our major benefactor,” Tom Hansen said.

Webster, who has lived in Creston since he was 10 years old, donated about 3 acres of his ranch to the rodeo grounds where its arena remains year-round. He lends additional acreage when parking is needed.

“I’m part of Creston,” Webster said. “We have a real nice community here everyone pitches in and its always been that way.”

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