There’s a rich, steeped history etched throughout 90 years of celebrating the Williams Lake Stampede.
As Williams Lake Stampede Association president Tim Rolph pointed out on today’s page A1 story of the Tribune, it really is unprecedented for an annual event to carry on for 90 years in B.C.
He added he thinks the Stampede is an important one, and we agree.
There aren’t many events, we believe, in the province that have the ability to bring a community together quite like the Stampede.
From the opening performance Thursday evening to the final rodeo Sunday, there’s literally no stop in the fun, family-filled action during the weekend.
On top of five rodeo performances spread over four days, Thunder Mountain Speedway is hosting its always popular Hit to Pass, King of the Hill and Smoke Show competition Friday evening beginning at 5 p.m. with qualifying laps.
Friday, there is also the Canada Day celebrations taking place in Boitanio Park from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Saturday, TMS follows that up with the first Tri-City Race Series event at 5 p.m.
There’s the Daybreak Rotary Stampede Parade beginning Saturday at 10 a.m., and the Williams Lake Downtown Improvement Association Street Party to follow until 4 p.m., plus loads of entertainment taking place at the Let R Buck Saloon Canadian Tire Stage and at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139.
Up at the Ottoman Drive rugby pitch, the Williams Lake Rustlers will be hosting hundreds of players from around the province for their annual Stampede Rugby Tournament, which wraps up Sunday afternoon with finals.
There are also pancake breakfasts being served up every morning.
From its humble beginnings, the Williams Lake Stampede has certainly seen a lot of changes over the years transforming from a mere sideshow to a world-famous spectacle.
As Stampede Park continues to evolve — this year with a new sign greeting fans and participants, alike — we hope everyone in the community has a safe, fun and happy Stampede.
For more on the weekend’s events check out our four-page feature in today’s paper.
– Williams Lake Tribune