Stettler optimistic about future of stampede

Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede roped in a healthy profit and organizers are highly optimistic about the future of the annual event that returned after a 10-year absence.

“Overall, in the preliminary stages, we recorded a profit of about $4,000,” said Ted Nibourg, who co-chaired the organizing committee for the event held Aug. 14 to 16.

While the opening two nights were rainy and cool, warm sunny weather attracted a large crowd for the final performance Sunday afternoon, which helped raise the financial revenue.

About 800 spectators packed the grandstand under sunny and warm skies Sunday after wet weather drew crowds of about 500 Saturday night and about 350 Friday night.

Wrapping up this year’s event, the committee met Aug. 25 to lay the foundation for next year, planning the stampede for the middle of August again, co-hosted by Stettler Board of Trade and Stettler and District Agricultural Society.

“We’ve got a raft of ideas to make the stampede bigger and better for 2010, including a rodeo trade show, better parking and special seating packages,” said Nibourg.

“We are very excited about next year’s stampede because of the success of this year’s stampede.”

Unfortunately, the rodeo lost significant revenue after a large quantity of liquor estimated at $2,000 was stolen from the beer garden overnight Friday and Saturday, he said.

With that, organizers plan to host the beer garden and the dance in the same location adjacent to the grandstand to create better security.

Several new ideas were expressed, which include selling stampede merchandise, selecting a stampede queen or princess, “premium seats” in the infield, connecting with Alberta Prairie Steam Tours, along with added features in the parades such as music and bands.

For next year, the committee expects to start planning at the end of September.

“We want to have more committees so we can become more efficient,” said Nibourg, who expects more volunteers will offer their services. “A lot of people were pleasantly surprised by this year’s rodeo and we hope many of them will volunteer for 2010.”

Co-chairing the committee with Jerry Sinclair, he was pleased with the team he worked with this year.

“I have never enjoyed a committee as much as I have working with this committee,” said Nibourg.

About 50 local riders and a total of 300 competitors participated this year in the event co-sanctioned by the Canadian Cowboys’ Association and Chinook Rodeo Association.

For more information on the 2010 stampede, phone Nibourg at 403-742-7566 (day) or Sinclair at 403-742-5323 or the board of trade at 403-742-3181.