Desert Sun's Thumbs Up

Palm Springs WestFest - Frank Bogert Memorial Rodeo

Thumbs up: Yee-haw! Frank Bogert Memorial rodeo is a grand idea.

Old-timers remember the Desert Circus as one of the great annual events in Palm Springs.

The first one was held in 1934 to raise money for a rectory. By 1940, it was a weeklong celebration to raise money for various charities.

Plans are now in the works for modern-day version of the Western festival with a rodeo in memory of the late Frank Bogert, Palm Springs' longtime cowboy mayor who died in March.

The plans have not been approved but we hope they move forward at a meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning.

The Desert Circus wasn't a circus in the traditional sense. It was series of events described as so difficult to organize that it was like a three-ring circus.

It included a high sheriff and his squad of female deputies who sold badges and "arrested" anyone caught not wearing Western attire. Those placed in a faux jail and paraded down the street could be bailed out with money that went to charity.

The Wild West Fest would be put on by Spur of the Moment Productions with the help of rodeo producer Cotton Rosser.

It will also be a fitting tribute to Bogert.  And a hoot.