The 2023 Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair is here.
It’s been four long years since “Rodeo Weekend” graced Cloverdale and the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.
“We are working hard to get everything ready for 4 p.m. on Friday (May 19),” Kathy Sheppard, president of the Cloverdale Rodeo Association said. Four p.m. is the officially opening time for both rodeo and Country Fair-goers.
“West Coast Amusements is setting up their stuff and everything looks fantastic,” Sheppard added. “The Stetson Bowl looks fantastic and all the other venues are getting their last finishing touches so they’ll be ready to go when the gates open.”
The last rodeo was held in 2019 and cancellations because of COVID (2020 and 2021) and because of structural problems with the Stetson Bowl (2022) forced the rodeo to go on hiatus.
“We’re thrilled to finally be returning after so long,” Sheppard said. “It’s going to be an exciting weekend with the rodeo and so many other great events happening on the Fairgrounds.”
The rodeo will feature roughstock rodeo events—bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding—along with ladies barrel racing, specialty acts, mutton bustin’, and rodeo clown acts.
Cloverdale will host 96 cowboys and cowgirls. The athletes will compete in five rodeo performances over the weekend. Both the 2019 Cloverdale Rodeo champs and the 2022 Canadian Rodeo champions have been invited.
Shepherd said they have a long list of attractions ready to welcome people at the Country Fair such as a livestock display, Buckaroo Barn (Kids zone), World Freestyle Skateboarding challenge, and new this year, the Indigenous Village.
The rodeo parade will be held May 20 at 10 a.m. and will include floats, marching bands, dance groups, clowns, cowboys and cowgirls on horses, and some classic automobiles. The parade will begin at 177B Street and Hwy 10.
Rick Hugh, 1st vice-president of the Cloverdale Rodeo Association, said the Association is also setting up a “bike corral” for anyone that wants to bike down to the rodeo.
“We are going to have a secure, dedicated area for people to leave their bikes,” explained Hugh.
The 75th incarnation of the Cloverdale Rodeo and the 132nd Country Fair open May 19 on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. The first Cloverdale Rodeo was held in 1945 and the first Country Fair was held in 1888.
The familiar May long weekend event will have its unofficial opening when the Cloverdale Bed Races roll up and down 176A Street Thursday, May 18, beginning at about 5:30 p.m.