Major events come and go due to many reasons, most often lack of popularity or volunteer burnout. It’s a sad fact of volunteer-run events.
What’s even sadder is when a popular and well-run event is forced to cancel because of circumstances beyond its control.
The Ashcroft & District Rodeo has been galloping along for over 50 years, through rain or shine. And with it, the rodeo parade.
Rodeos may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to admit, Ashcroft rocks on rodeo weekend with people everywhere. And most of the local businesses are able to count on a few extra dollars.
Kudos to the Rodeo Association for not giving up and wish them all the luck in the world for using this time to find new grounds.
Our community events cast pebbles further than we may give them credit for. Well run events like rodeos, show ‘n shines, fall fairs and music festivals let visitors take away a positive attitude towards our towns. Instead of “Oh, that desolate little dustball in the middle of nowhere,” they think: “We had awesome fun there at (insert event name). We’re going again next year. Wanna come?”
It’s a branding of its own that can’t be bought. Whenever our names are mentioned in provincial News, regardless of whether it’s healthcare or other services, education or building industry here, people associate the name of our town with a positive experience and take an interest in what happens here.
Volunteers know that it takes a few years for an event to become established in a community. That a few years of hard work and resisting the impulse to give up when it seems like no one is interested. Even then, some years it still feels like the event has taken two steps back as circumstances bring about changes. It’s a credit to our communities and the stamina of our volunteers that they always seem to bounce back, better than ever.
This hiatus is a chance for the community to show its support for the Rodeo Association and help them find a new home in time for the 2016 Ashcroft Rodeo.
Wendy Coomber is the editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal