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38th annual Stompede marks beginning of pro rodeo circuit

The first night of action at the 38th Annual Grande Prairie Stompede gets underway this evening.

Association President Terri Ellen Sudnik says when it comes to rodeo, the Grande Prairie Stompede is a world class event with some of the best athletes around.

“This is where you’re going to see the same athletes that compete at the CFR and the same athletes that compete at the NFR in Las Vegas. They come from around the world and because we are a pro-circuit event, these are the athletes that come here because it’s the first one of the season.”

More than 30,000 people are expected to take in the Stompede over the next 5 days. Sudnik says it’s an important event to the rodeo community because it is the first pro event of the year, but it’s hugely important to the community as well.

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“We have over 400 contestants and we have 102 wagon drivers. The footprint that it leaves on Evergreen Park and the whole community-when you talk about economic development and the dollars it brings to the gas stations and the grocery stores- it’s unbelievable.”

Organizers also have something new planned this year, a special area for chuckwagon enthusiasts and rodeo fans who want to get a different view of things.

“We’ve built some scaffolding and some hard infrastructure in the infield and on the south of the grandstand for people that just want a different kind of atmosphere then they normally would get. Come check it out and we can hook you up with the right kind of identification to get in.”

Rodeo performances go at 9 pm Wednesday and Thursday and then at 1 pm Friday through Sunday. Chuckwagons will run everyday at 5.

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