SANTA MARIA, Calif.- -

A long-standing central coast tradition comes back to the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo this year,after taking one year off the competition comes back with five contestants. 

The contestants have been vying for the crown and putting on  competitive fundraisers for the last six weeks.  

Its history is nearly as old as the rodeo.

Peter Sterling, chairman of the Elks Rodeo Queen Contest, said, “We had a few years there where we didn’t have a queen contest.” Organizers wanted the contest back.

Sterling said the rodeo queen competition goes hand-in-hand with the Elks Rodeo.

This year Santa Maria celebrates the 71st Elks Rodeo, the queen contest started only 6 years after the first rodeo.

Sterling said, “There were three gaps in the last 10 years, that we didn’t have a queen contest.”

The queen contest is all about local fundraising all five contestants have been fundraising for six weeks.

Through the years, queen contestants have brought in more than $10 million to local charities.

The rodeo queen will be announced Saturday evening.