RODEO PREVIEW: History of the event dates back to 1888

A look back at history of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country fair:

❚ In February of 1888, the first meeting of the fair was held. In March of that year, notice was given that the “District of Surrey Agricultural Association” was incorporated as an association under the Agricultural Societies Act. In September of 1888, the first fair was held in the Surrey Municipal Hall and grounds located at Surrey Centre. The fair was moved to the present site in Cloverdale in 1938.

❚ The idea for the rodeo was conceived in 1944 when Jack Shannon and Clarke Greenaway, two local horse enthusiasts, were watching a rodeo in Kamloops. The following year, the concept of a local rodeo became the major project of local Kinsmen. It was presented entirely by volunteers and “The West Goes Wilder” proved popular.

❚ In 1948, the rodeo had to be postponed from May until Labour Day weekend because of Fraser River flooding.

❚ In 1962, the Surrey Athletic Association, which owned and operated Cloverdale Community Centre, located on the fairgrounds, was disbanded and assets and members merged with the Lower Fraser Valley Exhibition Society. This helped expand the overall activity and, in 1965, a Class “A” status was obtained, thus making it the second “A” exhibition in B.C.

❚ In 1996, for the first time ever, the 109-year-old annual fall exhibition was rescheduled to be part of world famous rodeo weekend in May.

Source: CloverdaleRodeo.com

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