It was a record-setting year at the Let’R’Buck Saloon at the 93rd annual Williams Lake Stampede.
The ever-popular music, dance and social event draws people from across the Cariboo to the Stampede Grounds after the rodeo for a night of fun and entertainment. Longtime organizer Lorne Doerkson said that this year was fantastic, with the Let’R’Buck sitting close to or at capacity for three of the four nights it operated.
Doerkson said it was a great crowd that came out with “virtually no problems at all” that all loved the acts they put on throughout the weekend. They had, Doerkson said, literally thousands of people pass through over the weekend partying and dancing like crazy. While he doesn’t have an exact number of how many turned out, the capacity for the Let’R’Buck is 1,800 which they reached Saturday night while the other nights hovered around 1,600.
“It’s definitely a record year for the Let’R’Buck Saloon and it’s a significant record year. I think most of that, to be honest, is that most years we have two good night and this year we had three, right, with the Aaron Pritchett concert opening night,” Doerkson said. “The comment we had from all of our patrons was ‘do it again’, so they definitely liked the Stampede kickoff party we had on Thursday night.”
A repeat of the kickoff party involving a big name musician is already on Doerkson’s mind for next year and is something he and his fellow directors of the Williams Lake Stampede Association will be discussing in the following months. Overall, he feels the Let’R’Buck Saloon was a huge success this year, even during the Cariboo Heritage Gathering on Monday.
On Monday, with roughly 5,000 people on the grounds, Doerkson said, the saloon was filled with First Nations culture and traditional dance which was “really cool” to see.
He stands by his earlier comment to The Tribune that the Let’R’Buck is in many ways the meeting place of the Cariboo. While tons of people come from around the world, for many in the Cariboo this is their annual get-together and he feels this year was no different.
“The Let’R’Buck Saloon has really come into its own. I think it’s become pretty well known throughout the Cariboo and slowly, just like the world famous Williams Lake Stampede, I hope that the Let’R’Buck Saloon will be famous too,” Doerkson said.