Rodeo cancelled, Parade still on track

Ashcroft Rodeo has been cancelled this year while it changes location, but the parade is still on for June 20.

The Ashcroft Rodeo and Dance has been cancelled for 2015, but organizers promise to be back next year; the Parade is still going ahead as usual on June 20.

Organizers of the rodeo are looking for a new rodeo grounds after being notified earlier this year by the property’s owners that they could no longer use the current rodeo grounds because of insurance issues.

“We are deeply appreciative of the Desert Hills Ranch and the McKay/ Porter family for their years of support and their generosity to the rodeo in the use of their land as well as their offer to help us move when we find a new place,” said a statement from the Ashcroft Rodeo Association and the Ashcroft Rodeo Parade committee. “We do not blame the Desert Hills owners regarding their decision to not hold the Ashcroft Rodeo on their land any longer. If we were in their position, each of us would probably have made the same decision. We must look positively toward the future.  The Ashcroft Rodeo is not dead….It’s just on a break for a year to find a new place to locate.”

Bob Sidwell, president of the Association, says they’ve received offers of land around the area, but they want to keep the rodeo in Ashcroft. This week the Association approached the Village of Ashcroft about the possibility of land on the mesa.

Association and committee members will make their pitch for land at a committee of the whole meeting of Ashcroft Council on March 23 where they invite all of their supporters to attend. The meeting starts at 6 pm in the Village Office.

Sidwell says the BC Rodeo Association has assured them that Ashcroft’s Rodeo weekend date will be reserved for Ashcroft in 2016.

He says it’s time for everyone to move forward. “We’ll have a hell of a moving party,” once the new grounds are found, and next year’s rodeo will be bigger and better.

“The 2015 Ashcroft Rodeo Parade will still be taking place,” continued the joing statement. “We have been assured that many of the usual parade entries will be returning for 2015, even if the rodeo cannot take place. The parade committee does not want Ashcroft to lose out completely on their largest special weekend of the year. Therefore, June 20, 2015 will be a spectacular day in Ashcroft!”