Patrick Davies photos Williams Lake Stampede Association vice-president Court Smith (from left) is partnering with Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin president Janice Sapp, along with WLSA president Tim Rolph to bring the Cariboo Heritage Gathering to the community for the 93rd Annual Williams Lake Stampede.

Stampede ending with new Cariboo Heritage Gathering this year

The Williams Lake Stampede Association is partnering with the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin

The Williams Lake Stampede will be seeing the return of old traditions in a new way this year with the Cariboo Heritage Gathering.

During the early years as part of Stampede celebrations, the community would take part in an informal fair-like gathering combined with a more traditional rodeo, involving local working cowboys. With the help of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin, the Williams Lake Stampede Association is looking to revive this tradition for Canada Day this year.

WLSA president Tim Rolph said that they’re still doing their usual high-performance Stampede rodeos and events for the first four days of the event from Thursday, June 27 to Sunday June 30 in addition to this new event.

“It will be four days of professional rodeo action, our Let ‘R’ Buck stage will be going every night, the beer gardens, the mountain race, the wild cowgirl race and the bronc buster trade show, all of that’s going to be just like it has been,” Rolph said.

This new family-focused day was inspired in part by the Cariboo Regional District Library discovering two old posters, circa 1930 and 1931, of previous Stampedes, then known as the Annual Stampede and Gathering. Rolph said they partnered with the museum because they wanted to have a day specifically dedicated to celebrating the history of Western culture and the rodeo within the community and how it birthed the Stampede Williams Lake knows today.

Read More: Williams Lake Stampede named one of the top 10 rodeos by USA Today readers

“Our audience every year is growing in numbers but also in their locality, we’re starting to get more and more outside people who have no idea about our lifestyle in the Cariboo,” Rolph said. “So (the Cariboo Heritage Gathering) is a really unique opportunity for us to showcase what we’re all about.”

The president of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin, Janice Sapp, said the museum is happy and feels very fortunate to partner with the WLSA for this event, a continuation of a long history of collaboration between the two organizations. This event will allow the museum to continue its own efforts of being more engaged with the public, which is what they’re all about, Sapp said.

Sapp plans to bring in more local musicians for the Cariboo Heritage Gathering from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., heritage demonstrations like the 153 Mile Store display, First Nations traditional activities and a variety of other events throughout the day currently still being planned. She said that they’ll also have a traditional children’s carnival, a market made up of local vendors and a vintage car show featuring vehicles older than the 1960s.

“There’s still planning underway so we’re always looking for people to join forces with us and come out and volunteer a bit,” Sapp said.

Applications for vendors and volunteers can be found online at the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin’s Facebook page or by contacting them directly at 250-392-7404.

According to longtime museum volunteer Sharon MacDonald, they have already partnered with and invited several heritage based individuals and organizations from throughout the community. These include a blacksmith, the Williams Lake Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artist’s Guild, the Williams Lake Community Band, the Potato House and many more.

Sapp and MacDonald also confirmed that the popular yet long absent Bull Throwing Contest will be back this year at the gathering. Bull Throwing, for those unfamiliar with the event, is a competition in which local politicians see who can throw specially preserved cow patties the farthest, with a trophy awarded to the most capable.

Read More: Williams Lake Stampede throne to sit vacant over 2019/20

MacDonald said that, if the event goes well, it’s likely it will be added to Stampede from here on out to round out the end of the Stampede and will not be bound to Canada Day. Rolph confirmed that this is the case, adding that the Wild Cowgirl and Mountain Races will also still be happening during the Cariboo Heritage Gathering.

Court Smith, the second vice-president of the WLSA, said that all of these events will be happening in conjunction with a traditional ranch rodeo held in the Stampede’s arena.

“The ranch rodeo will showcase the current working cowboys (of the area). It will be a real interesting day for those who come, the museum is going to put a real family flavour on the day and the ranch rodeo will expose people to stuff you wouldn’t normally see,” Smith said. “It’s going to be a great day.”

Tickets for all five days of the Williams Stampede are available now online, with ticket prices for the Cariboo Heritage Gathering set at $10 for adults and $8 for children.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


The poster for the 11th Cariboo Annual Gathering and Stampede at Williams Lake was found recently in the records of the Cariboo Regional District Library and has inspired the upcoming Cariboo Heritage Gathering portion of the 93rd Annual Williams Lake Stampede.

The poster for the Twelfth Anual Gathering And Cariboo Stampede at Williams Lake was found recently in the records of the Cariboo Regional District Library and has inspired the upcoming Cariboo Heritage Gathering Portion of the 93rd Annual Williams Lake Stampede. Patrick Davies Photo.

Just Posted

Staff recommends awarding contract for RC Cotton pedestrian bridge

City council will discuss the $623,595 tender at the regular meeting Tuesday, June 26 and possibly pursuing other grants

Tsilhqot’in Nation urges Taseko Mines to stop drilling plans before conflict grows

Nation said Teztan Biny area is of ‘profound cultural and spiritual importance’

Signage up for new cannabis shop, licence yet to be approved

Pacificanna owner said he is still waiting for licence, but opened his Port Hardy shop June 21

City of Williams Lake dismantles homeless camp in River Valley

Williams Lake Fire Dept. responded to a fire at the site the day before

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from B.C. furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Rising gas prices force B.C. residents to rethink summer road trips: poll

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

Most Read