(postponed to 2023) There’s a song called ‘Rodeo’ performed by Garth Brooks. In it, Brooks sings of a cowboy passionate about the rodeo, intoxicated even. He thinks about leaving, but is unable. He knows the rodeo has its risks, but his love for it is too powerful, and he’s drawn back everytime by an irresistible magnetism.
For many cowboys and cowgirls, the rodeo is an old friend they grew up with. And it’s not just a sport. It’s a lifestyle that comes with adventure and a whole lot of sacrifice. There are mud stains, sore muscles, late nights and really early mornings. And it’s worth it – every bruise, every drop of sweat, every last dedicated minute.
If you’ve never had a love affair with the rodeo, then maybe it’s time to start flirting with the idea. It’s the perfect summer fling, after all. If you’ve already been to the rodeo, then you know exactly what we’re talking about.
There’s just something about the rodeo, and not only for the cowboys competing. There’s an intangible magic, an infectious atmosphere. Maybe it’s the smell of livestock that lingers in the air or the plethora of crisp hats and shiny buckles on display. Maybe it’s the barbeque, the excitement, or the undeniable sense of community. For city slickers with zero exposure to country life, it’s like stepping into a storybook.
Surrey’s own storybook-come-to-life is called The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair, and it’s a big deal… in Surrey and elsewhere. Country-lovin’ folk from far and wide flock annually to experience this spectacular tradition.
The Country Fair that’s now synonymous with the Cloverdale Rodeo was first held in 1888. In 1945 the rodeo came to town and seven decades later, the two are still a match made in heaven. In fact, The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair is arguably to best way to celebrate the May long weekend.
On the Thursday before the long weekend a raucous bed race kicks off the celebrations. Then there’s the parade on the Saturday, not quite as quirky, but just as fun. Eager spectators line the streets as nearly one hundred entrants proceed proudly: clowns, floats, bands, marching units, community organisations and of course… cowboys, cowgirls and horses galore!
When you’re not cheering on the world’s top cowboys and cowgirls as they compete in classic ‘rough stock’ rodeo events such as bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding, there’s plenty else to keep you occupied over the course of the long weekend: a Chili Cook Off, live entertainment, go-karting, BC’s largest travelling Midway and the World Freestyle Round-Up Skateboard Competition.
With top line entertainment acts and a fireworks display on the Friday, the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair is one wild ride you won’t soon forget.