Stampede Queen contest reined in

The Williams Lake Stampede Royalty Program has long standing traditional roots within our community dating back to 1933.

Alexis Forseille

Special to the Tribune/Advisor

The Williams Lake Stampede Royalty Program has long standing traditional roots within our community dating back to 1933.

Back in the early days of the program, young ladies competed for the title of Williams Lake Stampede Queen by selling tickets for Stampede weekend.

The girl who sold the most tickets won the title for that year.

Since its beginnings, the Williams Lake Stampede Royalty Program has evolved greatly.

Today our contestants are evaluated in the following categories: Williams Lake and rodeo knowledge, personal interview, public speaking, horsemanship, fashion show, and overall personality, poise and maturity.

The program is entirely designed, co-ordinated, and judged by volunteers within our community.

We could not be more thankful to those who volunteer their time to help the contestants grow as individuals and help us choose our next representative.

In recent years, the Williams Lake Stampede Queen Competition ran for four to six months, making our competition the longest running rodeo royalty pageant in Canada.

As the new Williams Lake Stampede Queen’s Committee has begun to fill with past royalty and royalty moms, we were able to reflect on our personal experience, and pool our knowledge of the rodeo queen industry.

Overall, we decided it was time to catch up with the rodeo royalty across Canada and the United States and have planned changes to enhance our program.

This year we are pleased to announce the Williams Lake Stampede Queen Program has expanded into a scholarship and bursary program.

This means that each contestant will be leaving with a minimum of $200 to go toward their post-secondary education or career training of choice from their contestant sponsor as a thank you for representing their sponsors, spreading knowledge about our Stampede and city, and for competing in our program.

The decision to build the Williams Lake Stampede Queen Program into a scholarship and bursary program ties into a second change for the competition. Beginning this year we have changed the competition format into a week-long competition.

Competition week will run June 19 to 25 with several events in the community that we encourage families to attend.

We changed the competition into a week-long format for several reasons.

To begin, as we believe in supporting education, it is impractical to expect our competitors to miss any time out of the classroom during their important high school and university years in order to volunteer to become a representative.

Further, as we want to support our contestants’ futures, we do not want to ask our young ladies to take multiple shifts off of work that help pay for their goals and personal lives.

The week-long competition means we are able to schedule all events and exams around school time, after all sports have been played, and we are only asking for employers to give the contestants a total of one week leave from work.

However, we have not changed an integral part of the program that involves training and coaching the young ladies in all the categories.

Throughout the weeks leading up to the competition, the contestants have planned a schedule to suite their busy lives with two practice sessions for each of the major categories.

At the sessions, the committee and volunteers will provide the contestants with an opportunity to finesse their skills and learn new ones as they learn to become the best representatives for our Stampede and community.

This also allows our contestants to be judged at their best when competition week rolls around.

All in all we are looking forward to this year’s Williams Lake Stampede Queen Competition and hope to see you at a few of the events!

Sunday June 19 from 1 to 3 p.m,: Marie Sharpe Elementary School will be hosting a Tea with the Queen and Contestants.

This event is designed for elementary school kids to come decorate a cupcake, have tea with our contestants, and learn some fun rodeo knowledge from our reigning Stampede Queen Cheyleigh Sand.

Entry is $5 per child and by donation for parents/guardians.

Thursday, June 23 at 6 p.m.: The contestants participate in their Horsemanship Final. This event is held at the Stampede Grounds with seating available in the VIP section free of charge.

Friday, June 24 at 6 p.m. we will be hosting the 2016 Williams Lake Stampede Queen Contestants’ Speech and Fashion Show at Lake City Secondary School- Williams Lake Campus.

Tickets are $10 and are available by contacting Alexis at wlstampederoyalty@gmail.com or by contacting one of the contestants.

Tickets will be available at the door if the event is not sold out.

Saturday, June 25 at 5:30 p.m.:  Lastly, it all comes down to Saturday night! This year we are excited to host a family dinner, dance and coronation on Saturday, June 25 at the Pioneer Complex. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are only available in advance by contacting Alexis at wlstampederoyalty@gmail.com or by contacting one of the contestants.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for teens (13-19) and seniors, and $5 for children (12 and under). We look forward to hosting you at one or many of our events!

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