BCRA ready to kickoff season with Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo

The Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex will be transformed into a rodeo arena April 20-22

It’s an exciting time of year for B.C. cowboys, cowgirls and rodeo fans, alike, as in just under two weeks time Williams Lake will officially kick off the BC Rodeo Association season with the 28th Annual Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo.

On Tuesday, April 17, truckloads of dirt will be hauled inside the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex to transform rink one into a rodeo arena where three consecutive days of rodeo April 20-22 await spectators.

“There’s nothing quite like it,” said Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo vice-president Shaun Oxtoby. “You’re right there at the show. It’s an up close and personal event from the rodeo right to the interaction with the clown. You don’t get that at bigger rodeos, and you have to kind of see it to believe it.”

Being indoors, however, does present its challenges for cowboys and rodeo stock, as lighting can be tricky for competitors in some events, not to mention it being the first rodeo of the season for most competitors, who will still be dialing in their form for the upcoming season.

Rodeo events run the gamut including bull riding, steer riding, tie-down roping, team roping, barrel racing, bareback riding and saddle bronc riding.

In all, 300-plus competitors will be in action throughout the weekend, Oxtoby expects, but noted entries are still rolling in.

The Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo Association has been busy working behind the scenes ensuring the entire weekend will be filled with something for the entire family, Oxtoby said.

Live entertainment Friday night and Saturday night from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. will feature the band, Kordaroy, at the Budweiser Beer Garden.

Saturday, the Barn Dance will run from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. featuring the sounds of One in the Chamber.

Sunday, the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame will make its presentations starting at 1 p.m. to this year’s Hall of Fame inductees: David Maurice of Riske Creek (working cowboy), Charlie Brous of Soda Creek (competitive achievements), Pat and Mike Jasper (working cowboys) and Joe Schuk and family (family member).

On Friday, the sixth annual free Cowboy Carnival for children – always a popular attraction for families — will take place from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. inside rink one at the complex.

“That’s always a crowd pleaser,” Oxtoby said. “It’s amazing how well it’s gone over the years. It just gets more and more popular each year. We have hundreds of kids go through those doors for that.”

There will be stick horse racing, dummy roping, and other mock rodeo events for children to try their hands at. There will also be bean bag tosses, animals and more.

Tickets for the rodeo went on sale Saturday inside the front doors at the CMRC and, so far, Oxtoby said they expect sellout or close to sellout crowds each day.

“We always have good support,” he said. “It brings in a lot of people from out of town, too, because it’s the first big event of the year.”

Tickets will be on sale inside the arena on Saturdays and Sundays leading up to the rodeo from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. They’ll also be on sale weekdays from noon until 6 p.m.

“So far, everything’s looking really good,” he said, noting more than 100 volunteers have stepped up to help make the event possible.

“January, February, we start looking into getting our sponsorships, and everybody’s been really gung-ho for it — we get a few more every year, and we really appreciate that.”

Tickets for the rodeo are $15 for adults, $8 for youth (6-14 years) and seniors, and children five and under are free. Family passes and weekend passes are also available.

Friday’s opening rodeo starts at 6 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday’s rodeos to follow at 1 p.m.

For more information call 250-267-9915, e-mail wlindoor@shaw.ca or stop by the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo Office.

The WLIRA also has a Facebook page Oxtoby invites anyone interested in keeping up with rodeo happenings to follow.

Just Posted

First Nations and non-First Nations community forge relationship in spirit of reconciliation

The communities of Tl’etinqox (Anaham) and New Westminster are working together to becoming sister communities

Scout Island summer students have fun teaching outdoors in the city

Kasey Stirling, Marlie Russell and William Newberry teach and learn on the job

The heat is on in Williams Lake

It will be hot and sunny for a few more days in the Cariboo

CASUAL COUNTRY: Former editor not afraid to say what’s what

A look back at the career of Tribune columnist Diana French

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Most Read