The Los Fresnos Rodeo kicked off its festivities Friday when hundreds of people from all over the Rio Grande Valley attended to see the different entertainment activities such as the Banana Derby, where monkeys wearing colorful outfit ride dogs.

Philip Hendricks, monkeys’ butler at the Banana Derby, said the event is great for the whole family.

“We are blessed and happy to be here. The rodeo is a great family event and we are family people,” he said.

Hendricks said the spectacle has been all over the United States including Northern Minnesota, Montana, New York, Las Vegas, Chicago and all points in between.

“This is going to be our 14th season; it is our third time in the Valley,” he said.

After the Banana Derby, attendees were able to take a photograph with one of the monkeys, who was wearing a pink suit. Cameron Gonzalez, who attended the event with Chloe Rocha, said the event was very nice.

“He’s so cute and I liked the way he held my hand,” Gonzalez said about the monkey.

During the same day at the rodeo, there were also the judging of beef cattle, arts and crafts, lambs and home shows. The rodeo event started at 7 p.m. and will continue today at the same time.

“We pride ourselves in having a very good production of putting the rodeo on. We like to keep things moving and entertain you the whole time,” Larry Cantu, one of the coordinators of the rodeo, said in a previous interview.

“It’s a tradition that they say was started here in Texas, the first rodeo, but it is a way of life that promotes the traditional cowboy, you know, working in a ranch, working with cattle and this and that so it is a really neat thing, they’re competing against each other but they’re always rooting for the other guy and that’s one thing that I really like about this sport.”

The Los Fresnos Parade will take place today at 9:30 a.m. and the celebrations will continue with home show, judging of market hogs, local band concert series, Loop Rawlins Wild West Show, Banana Derby and more.

For more information about the rodeo and events visit lfrodeo.com.