Mayor Kerry Cook, in her column, talks about the new Stampede royalty, the rodeo, and Canada Day celebrations, and more.

The Stampede season kicked off last weekend with the Coronation Ball. Congratulations to new Queen Alexis Forseille and new Princess Terris Billyboy.

I know you will represent our community well. All four contestants in the Queen competition this year were amazing. We also thanked last year’s royalty for their hard work. I don’t know about you, but my respect for cowboys has grown every year I’ve gone to the rodeo. There’s something that we could all learn by releasing our inner cowboy — life is about taking risks, and doing something we are passionate about. It is important to acknowledge the many people who make the Williams Lake Stampede weekend such a success — Fred Thomas and the Stampede Association, the Queens committee, the WLCBIA, the Rotary Clubs, the Knights of Columbus, and many others who make it all run so well and offer a world-class rodeo and entertainment. The community spirit you show each and every year is truly amazing and appreciated. There is also generous sponsorship from local businesses, and, this year, the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society has organized our Canada Day celebration in Boitanio Park.

The city’s crest has the words Courage, Hospitality, and Opportunity on it, and I would like to encourage all residents to join me in welcoming out-of-town guests this weekend. Williams Lake has become known for its hospitality, and for good reason: we are welcoming, caring people who are proud of our community, its heritage, and its future. This year we will be welcoming a special guest in Premier Christy Clark, who will be serving breakfast with the Rotary Club Saturday morning, appearing in the parade, and taking in the rodeo in the afternoon. It’s not every day we can welcome the premier! Finally, I am presenting the city’s statement to the Legislative Special Committee on Mid-Timber Supply on July 5. We are gathering the information and constructing our statement. Forestry has been the backbone of this community, and we want to ensure future sustainability. Hope to see you all at the parade, the rodeo, and Canada Day celebrations this weekend!

Kerry Cook is the mayor of Williams Lake.