Wednesday , 30 November 2022

Lea Park Rodeo hangs on to hope being postponed until July

The 66th Annual Lea Park Rodeo has been postponed until July 23 – 25.

Organizers are cautiously moving things along until the first couple weeks of July, when they will have to make the final call as to whether or not the event can go ahead for sure.

“It’s going to be quite a wait and see – we are hoping there are going to be enough vaccinations at that time,” said committee president Lloyd Grey.

“We’re hoping to have some kind of a crowd there, but we will have to see if restrictions are lifted enough.”

Committee members are dealing with changing the dates over for contractors and getting the correct paperwork in order.

Pending COVID restrictions, the event will feature all of the pro rodeo events plus novice bareback, novice bronc, boys steer riding, and women’s break away roping. This means you could get to see bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, and ladies barrel racing.

“Rodeo is part of the western heritage and what’s happened in the community – after 66 years, it’s something the community really looks forward to,” said Grey.

“We’ve got to keep the western heritage alive and well. For anyone that doesn’t know what rodeo is about, the best way is to come down and see. It is a beautiful spot, you can stay at the campground – it’s a pretty nice way to spend the weekend.”

The only time they’ve ever not run was last year due to restrictions. This year, the province has seen some high school rodeos run with no fans but no pro rodeos yet. Some of the ones booked this summer are waiting to see if restrictions will ease off in time.

With pro rodeo comes the best stock and the best athletes.

“All the Wayne Gretzky’s of rodeo are there. Calgary Stampede is our main contractor, along with Justin Volz’ Wild Hogg Bucking Bulls from Marywayne and Northcott Mazca,” said Grey.

“People will have to keep posted to find out. Right now that is our game plan, but it is subject to change. Hopefully next year this is all over and done with, so we can just go ahead with the show.”

One thing that won’t be cancelled is the 2021 Lea Park Rodeo Truck Draw. Hosted by the Marwayne Ag Society, the grand prize is a 2021 Dodge RAM 3/4 ton truck worth over $75,000.

There are an additional 10 $500 cash prizes and five $1,000 cash prizes.

“We’ll get you looked after. There are only 1,250 tickets sold so your odds are pretty good,” said Grey.

The new draw date will be on July 25 at the rodeo, and you can purchase tickets for $100 through committee members or by visiting Marwayne Hardware store. You can also message Lea Park Rodeo on Facebook or text 587-217-9104 to purchase a ticket for the draw.

About Angela Mouly

Angela comes to Lakeland Connect after leaving traditional newspaper where she spent the past four years reporting on community events. Her repertoire includes writing about history, politics, agriculture, sports, entertainment and art. She was the third place recipient of an AWNA General Excellence Award for “Best Front Page” during their 2016 Better Newspaper Competition. Angela has lived in rural Alberta all her life and in Vermilion for the past 15 years. She looks forward to continuing to serve and inform the Lakeland community by joining in people's many adventures and sharing their stories.