It was all jeans, belt buckles, cowboy boots and cowboy hats, and smiles at the Cloverdale Rodeo luncheon May 18.
Hosted by the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, the traditional Thursday, pre-rodeo luncheon was held on the Fairgrounds.
The luncheon welcomed the Rodeo Association, Rodeo Association volunteers, local business and community members, and both past and present municipal and provincial politicians.
“Most of you are Cloverdale business people and Cloverdale is near and dear to my heart,” said Kathy Sheppard, president of the Rodeo Association, her voice cracking. “This is such a special place, but it only works because great people are involved.”
Sheppard encouraged everyone in attendance to join the Cloverdale Rodeo Association.
“With more involvement, we can do much more,” she said. “Not only can we do more work at the facilities and on the Grounds, but the more work we can do across Cloverdale. And the more we can give back to Cloverdale and make the Cloverdale Rodeo the event it should be.”
Sheppard said she wants to bring back old rodeo events that were very popular in their day such as the tug-o-war, the moustache growing contest, and an al fresco dance on a block in the downtown area.
“There’s so much we can do,” she added. “Just be proud of your town and make it bigger and better.”
Shepherd also introduced and thanked the rodeo board for “all of their months, days, and hours they put in to help put this rodeo on for the City of Surrey and for Cloverdale.”
Rick Hugh, 1st vice-president of the Cloverdale Rodeo Association, said two great new attractions at the rodeo this year are the JRG Cookhouse, the venue where the luncheon was hosted, and the Hops and Vine Garden, which will host local breweries and wineries, and will be located in the Agriplex parking lot.
Hugh added the Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation (CRYIF) is currently raising money so it can award scholarships this year to local high school students. The Foundation has given away more than $60,000 in scholarship money over the past several years.
“We have an online 50/50 draw right now,” said Hugh. “A lot of that money goes towards our scholarships.”
Hugh said tickets for the online 50/50 draw can be found by visiting the Rodeo Association’s website, cloverdalerodeo.com.
CRYIF is also hosting its annual pancake breakfast on the Fairgrounds and it runs from 9:30 to 11 a.m. outside Shannon Hall on Sunday, May 21.
The pancake breakfast is also a fundraiser for CRYIF with all proceeds going into the scholarship pot. As an added bonus, anyone who attends the pancake breakfast, and makes a minimum $5 donation to CRYIF, will get a free gate admission ticket to the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.
For more info on becoming a volunteer, visit cloverdalerodeo.com and click on “Association” and then “Volunteering.”