The kick-off to summer and sunshine took place outside Bonnetts Energy Centre on Tuesday afternoon, as the Bust-Out BBQ officially welcomed the start of the 2022 Grande Prairie Stompede.
The first Stompede event since 2019 was a great opportunity to thank those behind the scenes who make the whole rodeo go round. The 2022 Stomper of the Year went to Stompede Sponsorship Director Raedawn Barker.
“It’s huge, it’s actually like the biggest honour, because it’s the people you spend all your time with,” she says.
“The Stompede is a family on its own, we spend half of our lives together, it takes a lot of work and dedication, and to be recognized by the rest of the board for that, it’s a real honour, and I’m actually speechless for the first time in my life.”
Barker says overwhelming to be recognized for her work, but says without hesitation, that it takes incredible effort by a massive group of volunteers to make it work.
“Half of our team is still back on the grounds, setting up and getting ready,” she says. “It takes the whole community to come together to put this show on, and after being gone for almost three years, we’ve seen a huge group come together, rally for us, and to bring the show back to the Peace, it’s incredible,”
Grande Prairie Stompede President Trevor Denis says they’re thrilled to welcome everyone back to Evergreen Park for five days of events. He says while there are some new additions to the agenda, including a dance in the dirt on Thursday evening, the rest of the festivities will feel even more amped up than usual, as they’re looking to make up for the lost time.
“We’ve been planning for a couple of years, doing lots of things in the background. Now that everything has been opened for us, we can put everything on and are looking forward to having a heck of a show,”
The 2022 Grande Prairie Stompede runs from May 25th to 29th at Evergreen Park.