The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair kicks off Friday afternoon. Four days of events, both on and off the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, are planned for the May long weekend.
The rodeo itself will see world-class cowboys and cowgirls competing in saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding and barrel racing for $300,000 in prizes, said Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association president Shannon Claypool.
“We invite the top competitors from across North America, and worldwide for that matter,” he said.
The Cloverdale Rodeo is “the second richest rodeo in Canada, next to the Calgary Stampede,” he said, but that money isn’t won without a fight.
“These cowboys and cowgirls have to work hard to earn their money,” he said. “We put on a quality show, and have one of the best stock contractors.”
Meanwhile, organizers are promising more family-friendly entertainment for the country fair than ever before — a tall promise, seeing as the fair has been running for more than 130 years.
Whether you want to check out a midway of games and rides, meet animals in the Agri-Zone, enjoy the lumberjack show, listen to B.C.’s best country music artists or eat the “best ribs in town” at Rib Fest, the fair promises something for everyone.
The Cloverdale Recreation Centre hosts a big kids zone that’s not to be missed, said Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association president Shannon Claypool.
One section in particular, aimed at the 9 and under set, teaches kids how to be a cowboy or a cowgirl.
“It engages them into the country lifestyle, he said. “It’s pretty exciting. That’s the high point for me, walking through and seeing these families enjoy themselves.”
At $10 for gate admission, “it’s very affordable family fun,” he said.
Kids can also drive through a construction-themed course in go-karts, watch piglets race and learn to drive hobby-grade radio-controlled cars with the Outlaw RC club.
| long weekend. The bike parade took place on Thursday evening. There’s a chili fest scheduled for Friday night, a rodeo parade on Saturday morning, and more. |
On top of everything else, the World Freestyle Round-Up Skateboard Championships will once again be hosted on the fairgrounds during the long weekend. The world’s top pro and amateur skateboarders will be in town, competing for a $10,000 grand prize. Athletes come from as far away as Japan, Australia and Germany to showcase the best tricks and routines, in a performance that organizers say is “sure to leave spectators awestruck.”
Several community events are also planned for downtown Cloverdale, outside of the fairgrounds themselves. Community members kicked off the rodeo weekend on Thursday evening with the annual bed races and bike parade.
A chili cook-off, with free food and kids activities, will take place at Clover Square Village from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening. For more, check out the Reporter’s story here.
Thousands are expected to line the streets of downtown Cloverdale on Saturday morning, when the annual Cloverdale Rodeo Parade will take place. Information on the parade event can be found here, and a history of the event is available here.