The Longhorn Saloon filled to capacity at the 2017 Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair. (submitted photo)

More food, less beer: Rodeo GM aims to keep Longhorn bar fight-free — like last year, he says

A ‘Beat the Line to the Longhorn Saloon’ pass is $50 this weekend

The Longhorn bar has a reputation for some hell-raisin’ whenever the Cloverdale Rodeo hits the fairgrounds, but it was a slightly different story in 2017, according to the man who oversees operations.

“Last year we didn’t have any fights in the Longhorn, so that was a good thing for us, and we sold more food than beer, overall,” rodeo GM Mike MacSorley told the Now-Leader.

“That was one of my goals when I got here, which was to change the attitude and the perception of the rodeo — that it’s not just a place to come and get loaded, it’s a place where families can come and enjoy,” MacSorley added.

“So part of that is selling more food than beer last year, and no fights. Those are two things that are really important to me as the general manager — even more important than what our bottom line is, because if we do that, we will be sustainable, and make this bigger and better in the long run.”

This weekend, the “World Famous” Longhorn, a big bar at the red-painted Agriplex, will feature two bands — Ken McCoy Band and Ettinger & Big 50 — on a rotating schedule on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, with Chris Buck Band there for one night only (Sunday, 10:15 p.m. start).

A “Beat the Line to the Longhorn Saloon” pass is $50 and available online only, via ticketleader.ca. The pass does not include general gate admission to the fair (priced at $10).

The Longhorn is open daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., for the 19-plus crowd only.

Chris Buck Band’s self-titled 2017 debut album features top-40 country radio hits including “Leave Your Light On,” “Giddy Up,” “Sun Sets Down” and the smash “That’s When You Know,” featuring Kira Isabella.

(STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO)

The fair’s live-music schedule, including set times, is posted at cloverdalerodeo.com/rodeo/entertainment.

Elsewhere at this year’s Cloverdale Rodeo, the Lordco Outdoor Stage Entertainment featuring a variety of live music, including performances by Jackson Hollow, Emily Taylor Adams, The New Shackletons, Me and Mae, Whiskey Jane Band, Dave Hartney, Robert Rowan and Appaloosa.

Also, the BC Country Music Association (BCCMA) will host a “Boots and Buckles” pavilion that will include a meet-and-greet with BCCMA artists throughout the long Weekend. The venue is open to all ages and is free until 8 p.m., when it will transform into a live-music dance hall for 19-plus fair attendees.

This year marks the 72nd annual Cloverdale Rodeo and 130th annual Country Fair.

Other attractions at the fair this weekend include the Envision Financial Kids Zone, Agri Zone and Douglas Lake Equipment Zone (formerly Cone Zone), S&R Sawmills West Coast Lumberjack Show, the seventh annual World Freestyle Roundup Skateboarding Competition, Ram Truck Test Drive, B.C.’s largest travelling midway, Art Knapp Outdoor Living Pavilion and West Fine Art Show.

Cloverdale Fairgrounds is located at the corner of 176th Street and 64th Avenue, Surrey.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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