Rain has almost come to be expected during Stompede week in Grande Prairie, but it doesn’t seem to keep the crowds away. President Terri Ellen Sudnik says despite the weather, their numbers spoke volumes.
“The amount of supporters that we have that come out and watch rodeo and chuckwagons and take on the family activities at Stompede – that’s our greatest success. Come rain or shine people are familiar with Stompede; they know what to expect; they always come looking for something new.”
This year that was a weekend of appearances by CBC TV series Heartland star Amber Marshall. Although the Stompede just wrapped up, organizers are already getting ready for next year. It will be the 40th anniversary of the event, and Sudnik says they want it to be a celebration of Canadian Western heritage.
“When Canada’s celebrating its 150th year in 2017, it’s sort of pivoted us to be in the right position to highlight to the rest of Canada, as well as across the province, what northern Alberta has when it comes to the cowboy way.”
They’re hoping to gather Stompede queens from the last 40 years for next year. While this year’s event is being considered another success, they have one thing to work on for next year. Sudnik says they’ll be finding a better way to get everyone out of the venue after the chuckwagons after some people had hour long waits on the Saturday night.
“It’s our personal guarantee, in working with Evergreen Park, that will not happen; you will not be stuck in your vehicle for over an hour without moving and it will not take you three hours to get out of Evergreen Park.”
She adds there are more service vehicles on a weekend night due to the beer gardens, so they’re looking at an additional service road.