Vandals target Falkland Stampede grounds

The rash of recent vandalism at the Falkland Stampede grounds is resulting in lost sleep for Bob Carson.

The man who looks after the grounds on a volunteer basis is befuddled by the acts of vandalism, including spray-painted graffiti and property damage, that have been happening for no rhyme or reason.

“It’s happened in the past, keeps going on and on, then it goes for a lull, it’s good for awhile, then all of a sudden it starts over again,” said Carson.

“It’s a frustrating situation. Everyday I only sleep about half-the-night, wondering what’s going on up there again. I just can’t keep up.”

In recent weeks, vandals have spraypainted gold paint graffiti on the grandstands and some of the barrels on the grounds. They have also used some kind of metal implement to get into private property on the grounds.

The roof has been torn off a souvenir booth as well as the area where the cowboys change. Barbecue glass was smashed over the entrance to the grandstand. Locks have been ripped off doors to some of the concessions where items inside the concession have been opened up and spread around.

A two-inch door was ripped out of the wall of one booth, resulting in damage to the screws and boards.

While Carson refers to it as “Mickey Mouse-style” vandalism, the damage does add up. Everything is repaired by volunteer labour but the monetary total for such damage would likely be into the thousands of dollars.

“It drives me crazy,” said Stampede manager Jason Churchill of the vandalism.

“Every single person on our committee is volunteering their time, nobody gets paid. We’re up there having work parties, working our butts off. And any money we raise goes back into the community.

“It sure would be nice to find out who is doing this because it’s driving us insane.”

Anybody with any information on the vandalism at the Falkland Stampede grounds is asked to call the Falkland RCMP at 250-379-2311, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

You can also leave a tip at the North Okanagan Shuswap Crime Stoppers Society’s website, www.nokscrimestoppers.com.