Bashaw ready to stage WPCA run-off events

Four days of chuckwagon races are on track for this Labour Day weekend in Bashaw.

Four days of chuckwagon races are on track for this Labour Day weekend in Bashaw.

Racing goes Thursday at 7 p.m. and Friday to Sunday at 5:30 p.m. daily as riders from all over Alberta and Saskatchewan compete in the World Professional Chuckwagon Association run-off event.

Drivers will vie for six open spots on next year’s WPCA racing tour.

“It’s a fun event for the whole family and people of all ages,” said Linda Weins, the treasurer of the Bashaw and District Agricultural Society.

Local rider Jason Johnstone is expected to be among the top contenders, with challenges from the likes of Mike Vigen, Cliff Cunningham, Troy Flad, Brian Mayan and Vern Nolin.

“A number of the all-pro and Alberta smaller wagons and chariots will run before the WPCA wagons,” Weins said.

“Come enjoy the races, bring the family and friends, and bet a loonie with the person sitting next to you, as you see who will be the winner.”

Children accompanied by their parents are admitted free of charge, and a free draw will be won at Sunday’s races.

Meanwhile, Western Financial Group in Bashaw has announced plans for a Friday barbecue to give town residents and visitors a chance to meet some of the up-and-coming chuckwagon drivers.

The barbecue doubles as fundraiser for the Bashaw Youth Foundation and Centre. The $3 meal charge will be donated to the youth centre, said Margaret Williams, managing partner of the Bashaw office of Western Financial Group.

“Say hello to our staff, meet the racers, grab a cupcake and a hotdog, and support a really great cause,” Williams said. “We’ve noticed how the youth centre is always doing things for the local kids, and some of our staff members have relatives that participate there. We’re happy to be able to welcome the racers to Bashaw by supporting such an excellent community organization.”