It’s not every day you mark 10 years, and the Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede organizers are celebrating in style.
The Canadian Cowboys Association’s second largest amateur outdoor rodeo returns June 7 to 9 – a family-friendly event chock full of entertainment and activities. And in honour of the special anniversary, the weekend is bigger and better than ever, says rodeo chair Terry Baltimore.
“We’ve really tried to pack the weekend full of things for people to do,” he says, crediting the many sponsors, committee members and volunteers who make it happen. “They make it easy for me to do my job, and without them, we wouldn’t be able to offer this amazing community event,” Baltimore says.
Here’s what you need to know to make the most of the four-day party:
• A great deal: Admission is just $10 per day (free for those age five and younger) for access to all events on the grounds. So for a family of four, it’s just $40 for a full day, plus their food, Baltimore says.
• Bring on the bulls! A special addition for this year is the addition of Bull Riders Canada events, essentially making the Stettler Steel Wheel Rodeo a triple-sanctioned event, along with the CCA and Chinook Rodeo Association.
“That’s very exciting for is, especially for our 10th year,” Baltimore says. Welcoming 273 competitors in all, rodeo events get underway Friday and Saturday night at 6 p.m., but be sure to cheer on the slack competitors, beginning Friday at 10 a.m.!
• Entertaining ideas: Not only is the amazing Dr. Von Houligan performing all weekend long – first show is Thursday at 4:30 p.m.! – but there’s Stettler’s Got Talent Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Agriplex, plus 12 contestants facing off for the Pollock Freestyle Bullfights Thursday in the outdoor arena, and a brand new event, Death By Chocolate Ladies’ Night, also Thursday in the Stettler Pavilion. Don’t miss the Ladies of the Heartland drill team – always a highlight – and put your dancing shoes on for some great music: Friday night closes with Alberta’s own Brad Saunders at 9:30 p.m. while Saturday night features Slow Walkin’ Walter.
• Fun for the kids: Kids love taking in the animal exhibits and rodeo events, but there’s lots more on offer, especially on Friday and Saturday. Fuel up early with a pancake breakfast, then check out the tractors and farm equipment and have some fun with Bouncy Boyz, bumper cars, the Orbitron and the 1-Up Gaming Arcade Trailer. Later, enjoy some quiet time with free children’s movies in the Pavilion from the Stettler Public Library. On Saturday, stake out your favourite spot for the annual parade, before heading to the rodeo grounds, where kids can try their hand at dummy roping!