By the smile on his face, it was no surprise that Court Smith was at the city council meeting Tuesday, March 8, bearing good tidings about the Williams Lake Stampede.
“Yes, I am here with some good news … the Williams Lake Stampede Association (WLSA) is excited to announce the return of the famous Williams Lake Stampede,” the Stampede Association president said, to which council responded with loud applause.
Smith said COVID has been tough on everyone in many ways, but the association has been in the planning stages for the rodeo for some time.
He confirmed the pro rodeo will run over three days – Thursday, June 30, Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2. On Sunday, July 3 will be the local ranch rodeo. There is going to also be a Bull Riders Canada sanctioned bull riding event, which is new.
Excited to engage the sponsors and volunteers who normally participate, Smith said the association also welcomes other sponsors or volunteers who have not been engaged in the past to reach out to the WLSA general manager Amber Nustad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We will be hitting the streets for sponsors who play a key role in our success,” he noted.
“We’re pumped and we’re going for it. Last fall we were very excited to put on a Bull Riders Canada event and two weeks prior to we had the rug pulled out from under us and unfortunately had to cancel.”
Right now, however, because the Stampede is considered an outside event, they can going ahead.
And with a seating capacity of 4,200 in the grandstand, Smith hopes the stands will be full over the weekend.
Mayor Walt Cobb thanked Court and the association for all its done in the past and for keeping things going through the pandemic to ensure the Stampede could resume.
Planning normally takes 12 months, and the association is starting a bit later than normal, but Smith said, ‘it’s not our first rodeo.”
Tickets will be available online by April 1.
“I was talking to our general manager today and she has for the last several weeks, perhaps even longer back than that, getting inquiries from all over the world. We are world famous. It really is amazing.”
Coun. Scott Nelson said the city appreciates the association’s work to put on the Stampede and people are excited and ready to have some fun.
“This puts us on the map again. This is one of our biggest events and funnest events,” Nelson said.
Council also approved providing one-time funding of up to $15,000 to assist with the Stampede Parade, which will be organized by Ultimate Arty and up to $10,000 of funding to Sunny Dyck to assist with organizing the Street Party.