WL Stampede starts Friday

You definitely won’t want to miss anything at this weekend’s 86th annual Williams Lake Stampede.

You definitely won’t want to miss anything at this weekend’s 86th annual Williams Lake Stampede.

But in case you do, Fred Thomas, president of the Williams Lake Stampede Association, is bringing in a big-time treat for everyone attending the rodeo.

“One of the biggest things I think that will make this year special is we’re going to have a large video screen setup on the grounds which will give us the capabilities of instant replay and those types of things,” Thomas says. “We’ll have a couple of cameras situated around the arena too so we’ll be filming all the events, plus the mountain horse race and all the other good things.

“Sight lines have always been an issue with the mountain race but being on the big video screen everyone should now be able to see it each day.”

This year’s Stampede is also expected to have the largest participant pool. Thomas says there are currently 466 competitors registered.

“That’s way above average,” he says. “Normally it’s somewhere in the neighbourhood of 375 to 400.”

He adds not only will many of the top cowboys in Canada be vying for titles and prize money but, also, several of the top U.S. cowboys will be in town for the rodeo.

“A lot of the American cowboys — many of them have competed every year at the national finals in Las Vegas — so some of the best in the world will be here, for sure,” he says. In addition, cowboys and cowgirls will be vying for an exceptionally large purse — this year upwards of $150,000, Thomas says.

“I just think our rodeo keeps getting a little better with the better competition we get each year,” he says. “The better competition you have the better rides and better scores, and all in all it makes it a bigger rodeo.”

Quickly becoming a household name in Williams Lake, Alberta’s Tyson Pietsch will once again be back, for the fifth straight time, at this year’s rodeo announcing and calling all the action.

Anyone who attended any of last year’s rodeo performances will also be familiar with this year’s rodeo clown, Bert Davis. Davis, also known as the Coppertown Clown, has been working the rodeo business since 1974 — and returns to Williams Lake this year with his pack of zany dogs, who play a large part in his act. Rodeo performances, including elaborate opening ceremonies and grand entry each day, start Friday at 6 p.m. with “Wear Red to Support our Armed Forces,” then continue at 1 p.m. Saturday following the annual Stampede Parade (10 a.m. downtown). Sunday, the third rodeo performance goes at 1 p.m., before it all comes to a close following Monday’s “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” rodeo. Proceeds from the day go to benefit Diane Johnston (Sheer) and Kids Running for Kids.

Additionally, local events such as the ranch challenge, wild horse race and mountain horse race take place each day.

Live entertainment, including Appaloosa, Robert Rowan and Savage West, will also be performing throughout the weekend in the Let ‘R Buck Saloon and at the famous Williams Lake Stampede Barn Dance Saturday night.

Thomas says the Williams Lake Stampede Association owes a big thanks to its multiple sponsors and volunteers in the community.

“We’ve had such great support from the community,” he says. “It’s unreal. People think the economy is down, which obviously it is, but our sponsorship is as big or bigger than it’s been in the past 15 years.”

For tickets to the rodeo and other Stampede events visit the Stampede office behind the grandstand or call 250-398-8388. For a complete list of times and rodeo details pick up a copy of the Stampede program, located at the Tribune front office or at various spots around town.

Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

(File photo)
Firearms investigation on Winger Road the result of increased gang activity: RCMP

When police attempted to stop a vehicle, it sped away

Shearwater is located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the West Coast of B.C. (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association photo)
Heiltsuk Nation buys historic Shearwater Resort and Marina

Chief Marilyn Slett said Heiltsuk Nation has always valued its relationship with the company

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Most Read