Kyle Brown of Didsbury, Alta. lands a cushioned dismount in the thick mud Friday evening during the 93rd Annual Williams Lake Stampede’s second professional rodeo performance. Brown, riding Zack Attack, recorded an 83-point ride and managed to get out of harm’s way just in time — thanks to some help from the bull fighters in the arena, including Greg Loring Jr. (left), formerly of Riske Creek. Angie Mindus photo

EDITORIAL: Community builders make another successful Stampede

Hundreds of volunteers organized a packed July long weekend

Once again Williams Lake pulled out all the stops for this year’s 93rd Stampede weekend. What an event!

Not just a rodeo, the Stampede showcases all the things that make this city and community unique and that is something to be proud of and celebrated.

First off, more than 300 volunteers worked the Stampede to make the weekend go smoothly, doing everything from organizing the rodeos and working in the in-field to putting on the popular Let R Buck Saloon to manning the ticket booths and managing traffic. No detail was left unchecked.

Hats off to the Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Club who organized the impressive parade Saturday which took an hour to wind through the city streets. Then there were the pancake breakfasts, the Steak-Outs, concession booths and the list goes on.

Our wonderful surrounding First Nations communities have always been a big part of the Stampede, adding to the rich, diverse experience of the weekend and this year was no exception.

The Xeni Gwet’in Youth Wagon Trip group, the Tl’etinqox Horse and Bike Ride group and, new this year, the ?Esdilagh (Alexandria) First Nation horse and wagon group all made impressive journeys to the Williams Lake Stampede, crossing the Sheep Creek and Rudy Johnson bridges to come to town in time for the rodeo weekend.

Read more: First Annual ?Esdilagh ride to WL Stampede enjoyed by participants

These groups are friends and neighbours to many, and being able to applaud their efforts and witness the camaraderie throughout the weekend is great to see.

Of course fans were also witness to four of the most daring races in rodeo, that of the Mountain Race, a traditionally First Nations event. This year racer Dax Setah was seriously injured the first evening’s race, thankfully, however, he is expected to recover.

Thank you to the Williams Lake Stampede Association for all the hard work and for another great year and congratulations to Willie Crosina, who at 95, still volunteers at the rodeo. For his years of service, the rodeo announcer’s booth will now be known as the Willie Crosina Pavilion.

Read more: Williams Lake Stampede directors name announcer’s booth after Willie Crosina

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