From Canada Day celebrations in Boitanio Park to the Stampede Parade, a karaoke contest, street party, entertainment in the Let R’ Buck Saloon and the Stampede Barn Dance there will be lots of activities to keep people entertained between the 85th annual Williams Lake Stampede rodeo performances next week. And there will be lots of breakfasts and barbecues to bring people together over a meal in a community setting.Stampede fun starts Thursday, June 30 and runs right through until Sunday, July 3 with rodeo action each day. Each rodeo begins with a spectacular grand entry with riders racing through the arena carrying flags. Each performance also includes a performance by the Cariboo Cowgirls horse drill team, the famous mountain race and intermission entertainment with Bert Davis, The Coppertown Clown and His Dogs.Thursday starts with rodeo slack at 9 a.m.; ranch challenge at 3 p.m. and the first performance rodeo at 6 p.m. The 2011/12 Stampede Queen and Princess will also be crowned in the rodeo ring Thursday evening.Friday begins with the Canada Day celebrations in Boitanio Park; followed by the ranch challenge at 3 p.m. and the rodeo at 6 p.m. Volunteers and visitors are asked to wear red to the rodeo Friday in support of the Canadian Armed Forces serving overseas. Families who have members serving in the forces will also be introduced during the rodeo Friday.Saturday begins with the annual Stampede Parade starting at 10 a.m. downtown; followed by the rodeo at 1 p.m.; and ranch challenge at 4:30 p.m.
Cowboy Hall of Fame local inductees Bruce Watt, Doug White, Bill Downie, Gordon Woods and the Wright Family will be introduced. Sunday is family day at the rodeo starting at 1 p.m. General seating is free for kids under 12. Volunteers and visitors are also asked to wear pink Sunday in honour of all those who have been touched by cancer. A dollar from each ticket sold Sunday will help a young Williams Lake woman in her fight with cancer and go to the Cariboo Companion’s walking group’s efforts to raise funds for the B.C. Cancer Foundation.There will be lots of entertainment happening in the Let R’ Buck Saloon behind the grandstand adjacent to the entrance where the bronc buster trade fair also takes place starting at 11 a.m. each day.Robert Rowan and Savage West will be performing in the Let R’ Buck Saloon from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.Ken McCoy, who is headlining the Saturday night barn dance in the Curling Rink from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. the following morning, will also join Savage West on Friday night at the Let R’ Buck Saloon.Thursday night the five Stampede Karaoke Contest finalists coming out of contests taking place at the Legion over the past few weeks will perform at 9 p.m. and during intermission in the Let R’ Buck. Thursday afternoon starting at 3 p.m. in the Let R’ Buck there will be family entertainment and kids karaoke.People can also learn more about rodeo and the animal athletes by joining the animal athlete tours behind the chutes on Saturday and Sunday mornings starting at 9 a.m.Pick up a program at the rodeo office behind the Stampede Grandstand for full details and information on the various community breakfasts and barbecues and events.Tickets for the rodeo performances and barn dance are available in the Stampede office in back of the grandstand which is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday June 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and during Stampede.For more information pick up a program at the Stampede office or call 250-398-8388 or toll free 1-800-71-RODEO.