Elks Rodeo Committee Chair Dave Stein is pretty pleased about the way things went last weekend during the 75th annual Keremeos Elks Rodeo.
Above average attendance on Sunday and Monday were offest slightly by a relatively lower turnout on Saturday at the Bulls and Barrels event.
“People were diappointed, I think, in past years because we weren’t able to schedule many bull rides,” Stein said, “this year we had 32 riders. I’m hoping it was more enjoyable to the spectators,” Stein said the rodeo committee would assess the event to decide on its suitability for future rodeos.
Better returns for the rest of the weekend “ensures that the rodeo will be back next year,” Stein assured.
The Elks had considerable assistance to help them with the busy weekend of events, including many individual volunteers, Keremeos Search and Rescue, the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department, Citizens on Patrol (COP) and the Sober Riders, (a benign group of motorcyclists from the Lower Mainland who make an annual pilgrimmage to Keremeos, generally camping at the rodeo grounds on the August 1 long weekend.)
Saturday night’s dance sold out, at least to the number of tickets organizers wished to sell.
“We sold out slightly under capacity as a safety measure,” Stein said, “the RCMP were fantastic in providing us with support.”
There were only two minor incidents marring the weekend – an intoxicated youth tried to get into the dance and was summarily dealt with by the RCMP, while a minor theft of rodeo banners occurred on the rodeo grounds on Sunday morning.
“If it hadn’t been for security out there (provided by the Sober Riders) we would have lost a lot more items,” Stein added. “We’re planning on tighter security next year.”
The rodeo committee will be meeting in the near future to discuss the results and begin planning for next year’s event.Stein said the group was applying for student job funding, hoping to get a couple of hires to work on maintenance and repair of rodeo infrastructure during the summer.
Monday’s rodeo parade was one of the longest in recent memory, thanks to hard work on the part of parade coordinator Dawn Stein. A solid number of onlookers were also gathered on Seventh Avenue to watch the proceedings this year. Pleasant weather helped to boost turnout for the rodeo, parade and beer garden on Monday.
“All in all I’m very pleased with the way things went this year,” Stein concluded, “and I hope to see everybody back here next year.”