By Sam Donnelly
For Ponoka News
Ponoka Stampede Association (PSA) president Jason Cline said that this year, the Stampede will feature new events and entertainment changes.
“We’re excited to get rodeo back to what it was and hopefully build on that,” said Cline.
The new events to the Ponoka Stampede are ladies’ bronc riding and kids’ jockey racing.
Kids jockey racing was introduced at the Wild West Chuckwagon Championship in September of 2021, and according to Cline, it was such a success they’ve decided to bring it to the Stampede.
When asked what makes this Stampede special, Cline mentioned that they will be adding a few more amenities for visitors.
First, an 80 to 100 foot tent will be placed on the grounds to act as a beer garden and concert space. According to Cline, the tent will be introduced to add something for Stampede goers in between scheduled rodeo and Stampede events.
The Stampede will feature four nights of concerts, with all of the artists being Canadian. Those performers include, but aren’t limited to, Colter Wall, Aaron Goodvin and the Reklaws.
As always, the Western Art and Gift Show will be held at the Ponoka Arena Complex. The art show will feature over 60 exhibitors with art ranging from woodworking to jewelry to home decor. The trade show will showcase all sorts of trades. Admission is free.
Cline also spoke about how the two-year gap has affected the athletes and the sponsors for the Ponoka Stampede. While not having a Stampede for two years definitely had a negative affect on all those involved, Cline has said that enthusiasm is high for the return of the Ponoka Stampede.
“We’ve seen the support and the excitement that has well surpassed anything we’ve seen in the past,” said Cline.
With the pandemic still causing problems, some were concerned that the Ponoka Stampede might be hindered by the virus’ continued longevity.
The Stampede is considered an outdoor event, however, so there will be no mask or social distancing mandates while at the Stampede. Cline did say, though, that they will follow Alberta health guidelines throughout.
More information about the events at the Ponoka Stampede can be found on their website.