Falkland is ready to throw open the gates.
The 97th annual Falkland Stampede is expected to attract upwards of 5,000 people Saturday through Monday.
“We have one of the best rodeos in Canada,” said Jason Churchill, stampede manager.
“I have been to some rodeos and there’s a real lax atmosphere, but in Falkland, people love coming out and having fun.”
About 300 cowboys could compete for $40,000 to $50,000 in prize money.
“They have been sitting at home all winter and itching to get outdoors and do what they love doing best,” said Churchill.
In saddle bronc, Kyle Bowers, Jim Berry, and Todd Herzog are expected to be here, along with bull riders Stephen Turner, Kyle Thompson and Ty Elliott.
The rodeo starts at 1 p.m. each day, and there will be a heavy horse pull Monday at 10 a.m.
The bucking stock is supplied by Northcott Rodeo, with Les McIntyre, one of Canada’s top rodeo announcers, doing the show.
Beyond that, look for a cowboy church service at 11 a.m. Sunday, the parade at 1 p.m. Sunday, dances Saturday and Sunday nights, a beverage garden and pancake breakfasts all three mornings.
Horse trainer Doug Mills will be on scene Saturday at 11 a.m. and there are mini-chuckwagon races each day.
And at the hockey rink, the Trade Expo runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. all three days.
“This is the second year for it and it will be bigger and better,” said Churchill.
Alpine Helicopters will also be providing tours of the area.
With Falkland’s population only being about 1,000, it’s all hands on deck during the stampede.
“We feel fortunate to be able to continue due to the ongoing dedicated work of our volunteers, the support from our rodeo fans, and our sponsors,” sad Ozzie Leaf, a long-time volunteer.
“We have former residents who come back to their home town on that weekend, and enjoy helping out, and keeping the tradition going.”
Much of the money raised during the stampede, including at concession booths run by local charities, goes right back into the community to support various programs.
“It’s our main fundraiser,” said Churchill.
Tickets at the gate are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students and children under six are free. A family pass is $45 and a three-day pass is $40 for adults and $30 for seniors.
For more information, go to www.falklandstampede.ca.