Cowboy culture is alive and well in the Cariboo, with plenty of upcoming western events ahead for locals to enjoy in the communities of 70 Mile House, 100 Mile House, and Clinton.
Carriage Driving in 70 Mile
From May 18 to 20, the 14th annual Cariboo Trails BS and Drive weekend will take place at the Huber Farm and Equestrian Centre in 70 Mile House at 1565 Cariboo Wagon Road. The event includes lessons and cross-country drives, offering the unique opportunity to learn to drive a traditional carriage.
On Saturday and Sunday, there will be an HCBC Field Driving Trial and three HCBC Pleasure Driving Classes. Pleasure Driving classes will be offered each day. Organizers ask participants to review their rule books beforehand, as Horse Council of BC general rules apply. All competitors must wear a helmet for the entire show. Dennis Huber will instruct lessons at a cost of $45 each.
Organizer Ken Huber says the event usually helps people get dusted off for the season, before a Poker Ride and Drive in June, Field Driving Trails in July and Carriage Driving Trails in September.
For more information on the BC Carriage Driving Society, visit www.bccarriagedriving.com.
Little Britches Rodeo
The 53rd Annual Little Britches Rodeo takes place on May 18 and 19 in 100 Mile House at the Outriders Grounds behind the South Cariboo Recreation Centre. Children aged 14 and under will compete in pole bending, barrel racing, stake racing, goat tail tying, chute dogging and much more. There will also be buckle prizes, spectator draws, contestant draws and a safety draw for contestants wearing helmets on their horse.
The event is hosted by 100 Mile and District Outriders and gets started at 9 a.m. both days. Event entry costs $10.00 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Children aged six and under get in for free.
152nd Clinton Annual Ball
To kick things off, the Clinton Museum opens on Friday, May 17 at 12 p.m. Visit the Museum during Heritage Week from Friday, May 17 until Monday, May 20, as well as from Friday, May 24 until Sunday, May 26. The Heritage Week hours of operation will be from 12 to 4 p.m.
Then, on Saturday, May 18 the 152nd Clinton Annual Ball takes place at 5 p.m. at the Memorial Hall. Guests will enjoy a three-course dinner and will be entertained by the music of Class Mates.
Clinton’s ball is the longest-running event of its kind in Canada. Now in its 152nd year, the event takes place over the course of one evening, despite its historic origins as a two-day function.
These days there are many locals who attend the ball—young and old—as well as plenty of others who travel from outside the Village just for the occasion.
Organizer Charlene Boscott says the Memorial Hall will be transformed into a beautiful ballroom “abuzz with elegant ladies and gentlemen” come May 18. Most wear period wear, but others attend in a suit, tie or bow tie, even graduation gowns are worn.
Partygoers will enjoy the historically-themed decor and learn a little about Clinton before being escorted to their table. Later there are cocktails, appetizers, and dinner before dancing.
Entertainment is provided during breaks in the music, and after all that, there is a midnight supper for those who may have worked up an appetite on the dance floor.
Clinton’s Annual Rodeo Weekend
On Friday, May 24, the Old Timers’ Tea will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Clinton Memorial Hall. The Old Timers’ Tea is a free social event organized annually in the community and is attended by people of all ages, despite its name.
May 25 begins with Clinton’s well-loved annual parade at 11 a.m. Traffic will be rerouted for the duration of the parade, which takes place down the main street of Clinton, which happens to be Highway 97. The parade’s theme is “Transportation Through the Ages”. Roland Higginbottom is the parade marshall once again and the Revelstoke Highlanders Pipe Band will be in the parade, too.
The BCRA’s annual two-day Clinton May Ball Rodeo starts Saturday at 1 p.m. at the rodeo grounds just south of town. Admission for adults is $15, while students and seniors get in for $10, and children aged six and under attend for free. Camping costs are $20 for the weekend, but that price doesn’t include rodeo admission.
This year, the famous Packhorse Race returns, but there will also be Sheep Riding and Mini Pony Bareback Riding. Following the rodeo, the local 4-H serves up an all ages steak dinner at 5 p.m. New this year, up and coming country B.C. band Tennessee Walker will perform during the 4-H dinner.
The Saturday events conclude with the popular Rodeo Dance, which takes place at the rodeo grounds at 8 p.m. featuring the band Appaloosa. Tickets for the dance are $15 each, and minors are prohibited as alcohol is available at the event.
A shuttle bus will make trips to and from Clinton to safely transport rodeo-goers throughout the day both Saturday and Sunday, as well as on Saturday evening for those attending the barn dance.
On Sunday, May 26 a pancake breakfast begins at 9 a.m. along with slack rodeo. The second day of scheduled events gets started at 1 p.m. The rodeo grounds feature a concession stand and beverage garden all weekend.