Colour run, cow-folk fun at Ashern’s 26th Annual Rodeo 

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Ashern’s 26th Annual Rodeo will run Aug. 31 to Sept. 1.

Located at the rodeo grounds just 1.5 miles south of the town, along Highway 6, the rodeo will take place under a covered grandstand so that rain or shine, everyone can watch all the action in comfort on Labour Day weekend.

Event staff and volunteers said that they are looking forward to the seeing all the people that will come out and fill the rodeo stands. 

Rylee Geisler, one of the event’s staff members, told The Interlake Spectator on Aug. 17, “You know it’s going to be a great weekend when that grandstand is full.” 

The event will kick-off on Aug. 31 with a street dance and Touch-A-Truck on Main Street, hosted by Ashern Skating Club, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The first hour of the evening will be dedicated to individuals with complex needs, so no lights, sirens, loud noise or music will be allowed during the reduced sensory hour that will end at 6 p.m.

The skating club and rodeo will host a fireworks display on the east side of Main Street at 10 p.m. to end the first night with a bang.

On Sept. 1, events will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at the Ashern Centennial Hall, then a Colour Run will be held at the Ashern Sports Grounds at 9:15 a.m and a parade will take place at 11:30 a.m. At 2 p.m. the rodeo grounds will open to the public and at 4 p.m. the 26th Annual Ashern Rodeo will officially begin. With music by Car Wash Party Sound, an outdoor social will round out the day at 8 p.m. at the Rodeo Grounds.

On the last day of the festival, a Cowboy Church Service will be held at the Grounds at 10 a.m. on Sept. 2, according to John Bezemer, president of the Ashern Rodeo Board. The 26th Annual Threshermen’s Reunion will take place at the Ashern Pioneer Museum and will begin at 11 a.m. The Rodeo Finals will start at 3 p.m.

Squares for Bessy Bingo and 50/50 tickets will be sold in the beer gardens, along with Mutton Busting registration, back by popular demand, according to the event’s poster, with only 10 entries being permitted per day and parents must sign a waiver for the event.

Rodeo admission is $10 per day or $15 for the entire weekend. There is no charge for children six-years-old and younger.

“The rodeo has grown a lot in the last few years. We’re always making improvements to the grounds and facilities,” Ashern Rodeo’s secretary, Meghan DeFoort, said. “The most recent ones are the re-build of the stairs to our announcer’s booth, an expansion on the beer gardens, and a multi-use stage that can host any number of events. The next project we are looking at tackling is permanent, accessible washrooms.  We’re always trying out new ideas in hopes of getting more people to come out for the rodeo, and we look forward to seeing everyone.” 

This year’s events will feature Bareback Bronc Riding, Bull Riding, Cowgirl’s Barrel Racing, Junior Barrels, Junior Steer Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Tie Down Roping and more.

“If anybody is looking for a good pro-rodeo experience, come watch. It’s probably one of the better ones in the province. There will be lots of riders and lots of people come out and watch it,” Bezemer said. “It’s a fully sanctioned rough-stock rodeo with all your rough-stock events plus ladies barrel and all that good stuff.”

For more information call 204-768-0312, visit facebook.com/ashernrodeomb/ or email: ashernrodeo@live.ca. 

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