Round-up Is Family Affair – Three Generations of Chico Family Continue Tradition

In 1972, John and Kay Lewis began attending the Red Bluff Round-Up. Since then, they’ve made it a family affair, and now their kids and grandkids join them. In the front row is Robbie and Rene’ Whitchurch, Kay Lewis, John Lewis, and in the back row is Dave Lewis, Stephanie and Rob Westlake, Josh Lewis and his dad Mike Lewis.

There’s a family tradition going on, and it takes place at the Red Bluff Round-Up each year.

For the past 43 years, the Lewis family has been found in the same box seats the third weekend in April, at the Round-Up, and this year won’t be any different.

Ten members and three generations of the family will be in town, in their seats, ready for rodeo.

It all started with John and Kay Lewis. In 1972, they bought box seats and brought their three kids: Mike, Dave and Stephanie, to the rodeo. And they kept coming back.

In the mid 1970s they moved to Chico, but the tradition continued. Pack up the kids and head to Red Bluff for the Round-Up.

Now the family, which has grown to include Stephanie’s husband Rob Westlake, their daughter Rene’ and her husband Robbie Whitchurch, Mike’s wife Patricia and their son Josh, and Dave and his daughter Isabella, has continued the tradition. “We’re all pretty close and connected,” Rene says. Most of the family members live in Chico, but one of Rene’s uncles lives near Sacramento.

And they’ve attended the Round-Up in all types of weather. “Whatever the elements are, we’ve been there through the wind, the rain, the heat. And we’ve been there with layers and parkas on,” Rene says. “But it’s always fun.”

When Rene married Robbie, he married into the tradition. He loves it, she says, and one of the few years she had to miss the Round-Up because of college studies overseas, he was there without her.

In the last four years, the family has designed a t-shirt for them to wear. Each year is a different theme. “We brainstorm something fun, and always keep the words “Lewis family tradition” and the year on there,” Rene says. Last year, their shirts had the words “Tough Enough” on them. Previous years’ t-shirts have said “keep calm and rodeo on,”, “this ain’t my first rodeo,” and “proceed to party.” This year’s shirt design hasn’t been chosen yet, Rene says, but they’re tossing around the idea of “don’t mess with the bull.”

The Lewis crew will be at the rodeo on Sunday, April 19, and Rene is grateful to her grandparents for this tradition. “I’m very thankful and appreciate my grandparents for starting this for our family.”

The Round-Up, which takes place at the Tehama District Fairgrounds, is April 17-19. Tickets range in price from 14 to $26 and are available online and at the Round-Up office in Red Bluff, and at the gate. For more information, call the Round-Up office at 530.527.1000, visit the website at, or find the event on Facebook.

Fans have the option to become a preferred ticket holder and have the first opportunity to by the same seats yearly by filling out a simple form when they buy their tickets. Contact the Round-Up office at 530.527.1000 to make the arrangements.

-from press release

-from press release
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