2018 - Professional Rodeo Clown - "Hippie"
We welcome "Hippie" to the 2018 Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo. David Engelkes from Steamboat Rock, Iowa has always enjoyed being in the spotlight. He was nick named "Hippie" during his high school years when he had long hair, wore tie-dyed shirts and sandals where he hung around with bull riders and cowboys. One day a bull began charging at him and someone yelled "Hurry and get out of the way, you darn hippie" . So the name "Hippie" just stuck with him, even after his hippie attire changed.
In 1997, he began a career as a bull rider and bull fighter. Along the way he discovered that he could get paid for playing with the bulls and clowning around in the arena, making people laugh. "My high school pranks that had landed me in the principal's office evolved into a real life career", Engelkes admits.
Now a family man, he concentrates on his comedy and working the barrel, which is the bull riders' "Safety island" at more than 60 performances each year. "In my clown gear, I get to dance and have fun with the audience and my act is completely improvised. I never do the same show twice." He also states that it takes a certain kind of person to work in a rodeo. "We're all adrenaline junkies and we live for excitement", Engelkes says. The need for speed was what motivated him to get involved with the bull riding in the first place.
It is word of mouth advertisement among announcers, rodeo committee members and fellow clowns that builds the reputation of comedy men involved in the rodeo. he set his goals high and in 2017 he became a member of the PRCA. He now travels across the United States entertaining crowds at PRCA rodeos along with other CBR and PBR events. His wife, Rebekah and their children accompany him to rodeos whenever possible.
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