It’s been in High Prairie so long some people take it for granted.
But the fact is, the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo brings to town the best cowboys and cowgirls in the world to compete as well as all the bells and whistles that come with it.
This year’s rodeo is Aug. 1-2 on the usual Tuesday and Wednesday dates.
The always spectacular parade begins at 11 a.m. but the parade route has changed from years ago but is the same as last year. Please see page 14 for the map. Rules regarding handing out candy remain the same as in the past. Of most importance is float entries are asked to make every effort to not throw candy from floats; handing out candy by accompanying walkers is OK.
And please give a big hand to this year’s parade marshals, Mel and Marj Hyland as they pass by!
The first performance of two rodeo performances occurs at 1:30 p.m. at the Elks Stampede Grounds Aug. 1. For 60 years, the Elks have attracted world-class rodeo action to High Prairie. Once again, the very best will test their skills on stock provided by Kesler Championship Pro Rodeo Stock. Some of its stock is the world’s best and sure to provide a challenge to competitors.
The second day of action begins at 2:30 p.m.
Enjoy all the major events of rodeo including bareback, saddle bronc, team roping, steer wrestling, tie down roping, ladies barrels, breakaway roping and – of course- the spectacular bull riding!
Amateur events include wild cow milking, junior barrels, and the pony chuckwagons and chariot races.
There are many other activities occurring. Meet the new Elks Pro Rodeo Queen, Navada Caouette. She officially takes over the title from Kirsten Burder.
The grand entry will again be performed by the High Prairie Wranglers, a team of precision riders. They practice for months before the rodeo so be sure to give them a big hand.
The beer gardens will be opening in the afternoon, and Sweet Tequila will be gracing the stage for an evening of dancing both nights of the rodeo [please see page 15]. Their last performance in town was in 2016.
The calf scramble returns this year both days for children 7-12 years old. It involves putting a few hundred children into the pen and one very nervous calf, who tries to escape while the children attempt to grab a ribbon from its tail.
The always popular mutton bustin’ returns. Although it only last few seconds per ride, the crowd cheers on children six years and under as they hang on for deal life aboard their “beast”. Entries for this event are already full. Ten riders each day provide all the fun!
Weather permitting, the Quarter-Mile Race occurs and is open to cowboys and cowgirls 16 years and over. Contestants, please check with Larry at the staging area on the east side of the track before bull riding.
This year, again, there are no fireworks, but the ATV raffle returns. First place winner gets a 2023 Ranger 1000 EPS – Sagebrush Green ATV. Second place winner gets $500 and third $250. Tickets are available on the grounds both days of the rodeo or at the Elks office before the rodeo. Draw date is Aug. 2 at the Elks Rodeo arena.
Don’t forget to also try your luck in the 50/50 draw!
Miss Rodeo Canada will also not be making an appearance but rodeo clown Ricky Ticky Wanchuk returns to provide his usual brand of humour and West Coast Amusements returns to provide midway fun for the entire family. Enjoy dozens of rides and tasty treats both days.
Many prizes and draws, concessions, games of chance and beer gardens round out the fun at the Stampede Grounds.
The Elks Pro Rodeo is sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association.
by Chris Clegg