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2017 Happy Canyon Directors

Meet the men and woman who put on the Night Show

Published on September 8, 2017 4:37PM

Contributed photo Top row: Casey Evans, Kipp Curtis, Casey Hunt, Tanner Hawkins, Clay Briscoe.Bottom row: Johnny Pimentel, Cory Williams, Becky Waggoner, Corey Neisdadt, Rick Baltzor, Kenzie Hansell.Not pictured: Kelsy Garton.

Contributed photo Top row: Casey Evans, Kipp Curtis, Casey Hunt, Tanner Hawkins, Clay Briscoe.Bottom row: Johnny Pimentel, Cory Williams, Becky Waggoner, Corey Neisdadt, Rick Baltzor, Kenzie Hansell.Not pictured: Kelsy Garton.


Corey Neistadt, President

Neistadt is serving his eighth year of board service as president of the Happy Canyon Board of Directors. He has been a lifelong Happy Canyon volunteer and has also held a variety of positions on the board of directors during his tenure, such as: bar and concessions director, tickets, ushers and programs, publicity and properties. Neistadt is a graduate of Oregon State University and is a partner in the Pendleton accounting firm Newhouse & Neistadt. He and his wife, Andrea, are parents to Lainey and Jacob and live in Pendleton.

Tanner Hawkins, Director of Sponsors

This is Hawkins’ seventh year on the Happy Canyon Board of Directors. He has volunteered at Happy Canyon from an early age, and like many, he started out in the trunk act and moved through several roles. Hawkins’ volunteer roots run deep as he is a the third-generation director, who farms with Hawkins Ranches. Hawkins credits the volunteers in making the 100-year-old Happy Canyon Indian Pageant and Wild West Show such a success. He was a past chairman of the Northwest Intercollegiate Rodeo Finals Association and is a current member of the Pendleton Grain Growers Board of Directors. He and his wife, Polly, are raising their two sons, Deacon and Gunnar, outside of Pendleton on his family’s farm.

Kelsy Garton, Director of Security

Garton handles parking details of the Happy Canyon Night Show and the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon kick-off concert. He often works with the Round-Up security director. This is his seventh year on the board, and Garton has volunteered for more than two decades before becoming a director. He is the owner of Kelsy Garton Tree Service and is a dedicated community volunteer. He and his wife, Kristan, live outside of Pendleton and have two daughters, Aspen and Sauren.

Rick Baltzor, Director of Livestock

Baltzor ensures that the Happy Canyon Indian Pageant and Wild West Show has the wagons and livestock it needs to make the show come alive. This position on the board is a seamless fit for Baltzor, as he was raised on a cattle ranch in the Jordan Valley. This background provides great knowledge to the show director and livestock trainers to ensure maximum performance from the animals each night of the show. This 23-year volunteer is on his sixth year of service as a director. Baltzor, who resides outside of Pendleton, is a superintendent for Swaggart Brothers General Contractors, father to Zane and Travis, and he and his wife, Chelle, are raising their niece Willow.

Cory Williams, Director of Tickets, Ushers, and Programs

In his fifth year of board service, Williams oversees on-site ticket sales, admissions staff and ushers. He also manages the production, advertising, sales and distribution of the Happy Canyon Night Show programs. Williams, raised in Athena on his family’s farm, became involved with Happy Canyon and the Pendleton Round-Up at a young age. His first role was as an emigrant in the Happy Canyon Night Show, and he later rode in the rescue scene and the cavalry. He then left the stage and worked behind the scenes, helping cue acts in and out of the arena. Williams and his wife, Sarah, live in Athena.

Clay Briscoe, Director of Games

In his fourth year as a member of the Happy Canyon Board of Directors, Briscoe oversees the gaming hall during the week of Happy Canyon. He is responsible for lining up entertainment for the dance hall and “Goldie’s Bar at the Canyon” after the night show. A longtime volunteer for both Happy Canyon and the Round-Up, he has managed beer chips and chip booths for the PBR Classic and the concert. Briscoe has been a practicing optometric physician for 25 years, and besides Happy Canyon, he served as president of the Pendleton City Club and was a member of the boards of directors for the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association and the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce. Briscoe and his wife Debbie have four grown children, Brittany, Bradley, Codi and Cori, and two grandchildren.

Kenzie Hansell, Director of Properties and Publicity

Fourth-year director Hansell, a fourth-generation Athena farmer, is responsible for securing and maintaining costumes and props the cast uses in the night pageant, as well as firearms and pyrotechnics. He is in charge of social media and advertising for the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon kick-off concert, the Happy Canyon Night Show, and “Goldie’s Bar at the Canyon” saloon after the night show. This Washington State University graduate currently serves on the Farmers Ending Hunger Board of Directors for the state of Oregon, the Pendleton Grain Growers Board of Directors, and was a past board member of the Northwest Intercollegiate Rodeo Finals Association. Hansell and his wife, Emily, have three daughters, Charlotte, Eloise, and Cora.

Johnny Pimental, Director of Grounds

Third-year director Johnny Pimental oversees repair and maintenance of the Happy Canyon Arena. The nights surrounding the PBR Classic bull riding event, Pimentel and his crew of volunteers transform the Happy Canyon arena from a pageant venue into a concert venue into a PBR arena and back into a pageant venue within four days. Pimental, a Hermiston native, his wife, Melissa, and son, Mitchell, have each volunteered for Happy Canyon and Round-Up for several years.

Kipp Curtis, Secretary/Treasurer

Curtis, a second-year director, oversees the organization’s finances and coordinates the activities of the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon office staff along with the Round-Up Board of Directors’ Secretary/Treasurer, as well as orders merchandise for the Round-Up and Happy Canyon gift shop. Prior to becoming a director, he helped with the set-up and take-down of the concert stage, worked at the PBR during set-up as well as take-down and during the show volunteered with games as a dealer. He also runs the “street phone” during the show. The Carroll College graduate has also served as a director on the Northwest Intercollegiate Rodeo Finals Association board. Kipp is the general manager of Pacific Ag, a hay company based in Hermiston. He and his wife, Cydney, a 30-year volunteer herself, have two children, Collins and Nolin, who also perform in the show.

Becky Waggoner, Director of Show

Waggoner is serving her first year on the board of directors as the director of the Happy Canyon Indian Pageant and Wild West Show. Waggoner oversees the production of the Happy Canyon show, reviews the script and casts for the show’s numerous roles and manages the lights, sound and music. Waggoner comes from a long line of Happy Canyon volunteers and has been a show participant since the age of 3. For the past 17 years, she has been honored to play the role of the nurse in the Doctor Act. Out of her love for the show and its colorful history, Waggoner recently authored “Happy Canyon: A History of the World’s Most Unique Indian Pageant and Wild West Show.” Waggoner and her husband Allen, a past show director and board president, live in Pilot Rock and have three children, Kyle, Kaleigh and Riley, all fifth-generation show participants.

Casey Hunt, Director of Court

Hunt is serving his first year on the board of directors and accompanies the Happy Canyon princesses, Virginia Connor and Gabriella Lewis, to events around the Northwest promoting the Happy Canyon Indian Pageant and Wild West Show. Hunt knows the Happy Canyon show well, as he held many roles beginning at the age of 4 when his father was selected to the Happy Canyon Board of Directors in 1983. Hunt is a financial advisor for Edward Jones in Pendleton, and he and his wife, Whitney, have two children, William and Charlotte.

Casey Evans, Director of Bar and Concessions

First-year director Evans is responsible for the set-up of “Goldie’s Bar at the Canyon,” the preparations for the annual PBR concessions, and ensures that Happy Canyon complies with the Umatilla County Health Department and Oregon Liquor Control Commission regulations. Volunteerism with Happy Canyon and the Pendleton Round-Up has been in Evans’ family for four generations. He has been involved in the show since 2007, as a part of the Trunk and Duck Acts. Evans works for the Oregon Department of Transportation, and he and his wife, Kylee, live in Pendleton with their two daughters, Finley and Adilynn.



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