A bit of rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of the Keremeos Rodeo over the May long weekend.
Plenty of people came out to watch the competitors, enjoy some good food, and dance the night away.
“People had fun, the floor was full of people dancing, and overall it was a great rodeo,” said Dave Barker, the Rodeo Association’s chair.
The new Elks Hall on the rodeo grounds was packed for Sunday night’s dance following the rib dinner, in a turnout that thrilled the organizers.
“I was worried we might be over capacity, and we can fit a lot of people, but I looked at the tables and chairs and they were empty. Everybody was up and dancing, the DJ never stopped the music, it was a huge success.”
Although the weather proved less than cooperative over the weekend, the rodeo went ahead in full for the first time after being forced into a hiatus in 2020. There was a thought of holding it in 2022, but it would have been the first of the season and there was already concerns about a shortage of competitors.
The new addition of the ranch bronco riding, which uses a standard saddle compared to a competition saddle, was a big hit and definitely will be brought back for the future.
“It’s entertaining, and anything that you have that you can get locals involved in, it’s good for the people,” said Barker.
The junior and kids events, as always, were also hits. That included the calf scramble, which saw kids up to 12 head into the rodeo ring to chase down ribbons attached to the tales of several calves. There were plenty of smiles and muddy clothes as kids slipped or got knocked over in the chase.
“We’ve had worse mud than we had this year and kids were still out there, taking their shoes off and their socks off and going out in the mud,” said Barker. “Then the parents would be there to hose the kids off and everybody was laughing.”
The rodeo can’t happen without the support of the sponsors from the community. That includes not just the financial support for the running of the rodeo, but also the donations and volunteers that helped build the new hall on the rodeo grounds.
“Just the cost of putting on a rodeo is pretty high, so these guys have just stepped up, and it’s really great,” said Barker.
With the new hall a big success, the next goal will be replacing the rodeo ground’s bleachers, which will likely need the support of the community once more.
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