Stampede ropes up 93 years of fun

Going 93 years strong, one of Canada’s longest-running rodeos is saddling up for its May long weekend performance.

Thousands are expected to fill the bleachers as the Falkland Stampede action runs from Saturday to Monday.

“What started out as a community picnic in 1919 has evolved into a three-day professional rodeo, which we take pride in presenting to our faithful rodeo fans,” said Ozzy Leaf, one of the event organizers.

Today, the Falkland Stampede ranks in calibre among the top 12 in Canada.

Along with top rodeo stars, the event attracts visitors from all over.

In fact, Falkland is already preparing for the motorhomes and campers to start rolling into town.

“Some families have been coming here for some 40 years or more and make this their yearly family get-together weekend,” said Leaf, as young and old enjoy everything from a calf scramble for the kids to kicking up their own heels at the Saturday and Sunday dances at 9 p.m. featuring The Blue Heelers.

Saturday kicks off the rodeo action at 1 p.m. with Les McIntyre announcing the contestants.

The parade rolls through downtown Sunday at 1 p.m. (anyone wanting to enter should do so by phoning 250-546-8079).

Then the stampede stars saddle up again Sunday at 2 p.m.

Monday features the heavy horse pull at 10 a.m., followed by the final rodeo performance at 1 p.m.

Throughout the weekend, Falkland also gets in the stampede spirit with other local events.

“We will be playing country music downtown, all three days found in front of the Falkland Store and will announce the parade as it goes by on Sunday,” said Leaf, also mentioning a cowboy church service with Rob Dinwoodie and Abe Zacharias entertaining with some country gospel music.

“We look forward to putting on another great three days of exciting rodeo action and welcome everyone to attend,” said Leaf.

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