Stampede ready to go despite flood alert

Flooding concerns won’t wash away the rodeo action in Falkland.

Organizers say the 93rd annual Falkland Stampede will run from Saturday to Monday despite high water levels along the Salmon River.

“We’re getting three to four calls a day from people asking if it’s cancelled and no it’s not,” said Jason Churchill, manager.

“We’re trying to put those fires out. The rumours could end up hurting us.”

A lifelong Falkland resident, Churchill isn’t concerned about flooding.

“It may be a high year but it’s only ever been up to the bank once in my lifetime,” he said.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre reports that river levels crested early Tuesday and have been receding since then.

However, the Shuswap Emergency Program says conditions could change if warmer temperatures lead to increased snow melt.

About 300 riders will participate in this year’s stampede.

“This will be the best rodeo we’ve ever put together,” said Churchill.

“We’ve got the entertainer of the year for rodeo clown and we’ve got the announcer of the year.”

On Saturday, the rodeo gets underway at 1 p.m., while on Sunday, there will be a parade at 1 p.m. and the rodeo at 2 p.m.

Monday will see the heavy-horse pull start at 10 a.m. and the rodeo at 1 p.m.

Large crowds traditionally fill the grandstands.

“Sunday is usually our really big day,” said Churchill.

For more information on the rodeo, go to www.falklandstampede.ca

Falkland residents are being asked to prepare for potential flooding along the river.

“Take the time now to develop a plan with your family and have an emergency kit prepared,” said Bev Minaker, with the Shuswap Emergency Program.

“If your property is prone to flooding, continually monitor the weather and river forecast updates and take measures to protect your property.”