Ashcroft Rodeo needs community support

Author points to the many benefits of the annual rodeo and asks the public to attend the public forum on Thurs., May 21 at the hall.

Dear Editor

The Ashcroft and District Rodeo has been happening in Ashcroft since 1962. The Rodeo Association is now looking for a new location in the Village of Ashcroft, possibly on the Mesa. The Village is hosting a Public Opinion meeting at the Ashcroft Community Hall on Thurs., May 21 from 7-9 pm. It is hoped that as many residents of Ashcroft as possible can attend and provide support for the continuation of the Rodeo.

The Ashcroft Rodeo has had the most competitors in the BC Rodeo Association Rodeos for the past few years. It not only showcases Western Heritage, it bolsters the economy of our small town. No other event in the year brings in as many people to the town, with money to spend, as the Rodeo. Many graduates of Ashcroft Secondary School often return to Ashcroft for Rodeo weekend for their school reunions.

Many of the community’s organizations and businesses rely on the Rodeo for a large chunk of their fundraising or yearly income; these include the 4H group who staff the admission gate and do the cleanup, the Rotary who provide the Concession at the Rodeo, and the Lions who provide the Pancake Breakfast on the morning of the Parade. The Legion also receives more monies with people attending their Friday Steak Dinner, and the Hotel provides rooms for many attending the Rodeo. For several years the Bit-A-Bling Grand Entry Team has come from Langley to perform at the Rodeo: they also ride to the Hospital and meet with the Long Term Care residents before riding in the Parade. They sell 50/50 tickets to pay for their costs and every year have given a large donation to the Long Term Care unit at the Hospital.

I could go on. We no longer have the HOG Run that always brought income to Ashcroft in June; do we want to lose the Rodeo as well? The Ashcroft Rodeo association is a non-profit group registered under the Society Act of BC – the Rodeo is run by volunteers and any money left over after the Rodeo is used for “seed money” to start up the next year’s Rodeo.

Please plan to attend tonight’s meeting. Every resident can speak for two minutes. There are bound to be questions and concerns about any new location. Let’s work together to find the solutions!

Linda Holland, member

Ashcroft & District Rodeo Association