Before a sold-out crowd at the beginning of Saturday’s 93rd annual Williams Lake Stampede rodeo, 95-year-old Willie Crosina was surprised by his fellow Stampede directors of their plan to dedicate the log rodeo announcer’s booth in his honour.
It will be called the Willie Crosina Pavilion.
“They sure had me fooled,” Crosina said Sunday morning. Crosina was already back down to work at the Stampede Grounds, which is where the Tribune caught up with him.
“I was going by the schedule and all of a sudden they called me out. I was in the wagon — they always acknowledge the Cowboy Hall of Fame. And that’s when they told me.”
Stampede president Tim Rolph assisted Crosina through the thick mud to just below the announcer’s booth where he was flanked by all the Stampede directors.
The crowd cheered wildly for Crosina, who was one of the founding members of the BCRA, a former rodeo clown and mentor with high school rodeo since the early 70s.
True to his personality, Crosina took to the mic to humbly accepted the honour and made a few jokes before getting to announce the first CPRA competitor in the rodeo.
“And I got to announce the bareback riding, so I can say that I’m a professional rodeo announcer now.”