Big crowds, successful additions to the slate of attractions, and a first-place finish from a local competitor were among the highlights of this year’s rodeo festivities.
The 26th annual Pincher Creek Pro Rodeo, and a packed schedule of events around town, took place Aug. 15 to 18.
“Pincher Creek, in general, was extremely busy, which is always absolutely fantastic,” says Marie Everts, marketing, events, and economic development officer for the Town of Pincher Creek. Everts also serves as a committee member with the Pincher Creek Pro Rodeo.
“Extra people in our community is great for the economy and for showcasing our community,” she adds. “It always amazes me how our volunteers come together to showcase our community so well.”
The rodeo featured a first-place finish by local Call Marr. The Twin Butte product scored an 85 to lead the saddle bronc competition.
While attendance numbers for the rodeo are not yet firm, what appeared to be a smaller showing, based on poor weather, Aug. 16, was followed by “what we’re pretty sure were record-breaking numbers for Saturday’s attendance,” Everts says.
“The stands were packed,” she adds. “It was a beautiful day.
“We had people sprawled out on the grass below the stands and people standing up on the back. It was a pretty amazing experience, with the Pincher Creek Rodeo, you’re so close to the action.”
The parade, hosted by the Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce, was well-attended and — as a nod to the town hosting the Southern Alberta Summer Games earlier this summer — featured a sports theme, where many of the participants incorporated athletics in their costumers and/or the way in which their vehicle or float was decorated.
Members of Bob Westrop’s family — a man heavily involved in the rodeo parade for many years who died earlier this year — participated in the parade. The late Pincher Creek icon received special recognition during the event, including a large banner with his photo carried in the parade.
“Bob was an absolute fixture and advocate for the Pincher Creek community,” says Everts, adding it was important to “honour the memory and amazing contributions Bob has had to, the parade specifically, but generally the community of Pincher Creek.”
Some of the additions to this year’s lineup included the Gringo Bulls performance at the rodeo grounds, Lemonade Day, and the Western Market.
The Gringo Bulls, a free-style bull-fighting event, made its Pincher Creek debut Sunday.
“That was pretty cool, something different for Pincher Creek,” says Everts. “There was a lot of oohs and aahs from the audience.”
The Western Market, held at the Pincher Creek Community Hall, was a first-of-its-kind event for the town, where all vendors had a country and western theme.
“I think both the customers and businesses were really impressed,” says Everts.
If you were thirsty during or after the parade, an initiative by the Pincher Creek Chamber of Commerce had you covered. Lemonade Day saw 12 lemonade stands, run by participants aged 16 and under, set up across town.
The effort to help promote young entrepreneurship in Pincher Creek included cash prizes for best lemonade, best stand, and best stand overall. Results are expected to be released later this week.