Stephanie Ip, The Province
SURREY — For families looking to disconnect for a bit and recharge, the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair just might be the best way to do it this May long weekend.
“It’s a great experience. You buy the cheap cowboy hat and you can escape from the real world and become a cowboy for the weekend,” said Cloverdale Rodeo president Shannon Claypool. “It’s a great way of life. I live on an acreage with horses in my backyard and I grew up living the western lifestyle, and it’s a great lifestyle.”
Claypool, who has been working with the organizing team for nearly two decades, noted ticket prices for the fair have been lowered in recent years, and that kids 12 and under can attend for free when accompanied by an adult.
“When you look at the cost of events — B.C. Lions, Vancouver Canucks — we’re very affordable and family friendly,” Claypool said.
At last year’s fair
If previous years are any indication, big crowds are once again expected at the Cloverdale Rodeo. In 2015, more than 85,000 people attended the fair, while more than 23,000 fans came out for five rodeo performances.
The rodeo even saw back-to-back sell-outs for its Saturday and Sunday performances last year, and a near sell-out for its Monday show. Better get your tickets fast.
The fair was first moved to its present site in Cloverdale
The inaugural fair took place in September 1888 and at the time, was located in the Surrey Municipal Hall and grounds at Surrey Centre. It wasn’t until 1938 that the fair was re-located to its current site in Cloverdale.
Over the years, the fair has grown from a small-town rodeo, to the second largest community rodeo in Canada. In 1948, corrals for the rodeo were built, new chutes and fences installed, the racetrack extended, and grandstands were put up for the growing annual crowd.
Will be represented in the World Round-Up Freestyle Skateboard competition
Dozens of the world’s top pro and amateur freestyle skateboarders will descend on the Cloverdale Rodeo — no, not for the yee-haws and giddy-ups — but to face off for the chance to win a chunk of $10,000 in prize money.
The four-day event takes place inside the Cloverdale Curling Rink, where there will be freestyle demos and contests. Skaters in this year’s competition hail from places as far away as Japan, Australia and Brazil, and range between the ages of 12 and 55.
Of the Cloverdale Bed Race
In 1977, a bed race was held as a publicity stunt to stir up excitement for the rodeo. In the years since, the stunt has grown into a tradition of sorts, marking the start of the rodeo each year.
The quirky competition is an elimination-style race in which teams create their vehicles out of bed frames and anything else they can get their hands on. Expect colourful, expect bold, expect the weird when it comes to
costumed teams and their prized vehicles.
For more information about the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair or to purchase tickets, visit cloverdalerodeo.com. The fair runs May 20 to 23.
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