Labour Day weekend means one thing in the foothills, time to cowboy up.
The 23rd annual Okotoks Pro Rodeo makes its return to the Murray Arena in the Okotoks Recreation Centre, from Aug 29-Aug. 31. The event is sponsored by the Okotoks Pro Rodeo Society, local service groups and the Okotoks community.
The Labour day weekend affair comes at the stretch drive of the Canadian Pro Rodeo season so points from the Okotoks Pro Rodeo often go a long way to determining qualification for the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
The event always attracts the top cowboys in the country and features considerable local talent from the foothills.
Saddle broncer Sam Kelts of Millarville finished fourth at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2013. He is gearing up to place well at the Okotoks stop in what is practically his hometown rodeo.
“I have been there virtually every year since I got my permit in ’01,” Kelts said. “It’s a good rodeo and Wayne (Vold) brings good horses. I have never won in Okotoks. I have placed a few times, but I have never really kicked butt there. I have drawn good horses, but I seemed to get bucked off there.”
The rodeo includes all the major events including bull riding, bareback, saddle bronc, calf roping, steer wrestling, ladies’ barrel racing and team roping. Plus there will be the fan favourite mutton bustin’ during each performance and endless entertainment from a professional rodeo clown.
Friday and Saturday performances start at 7 p.m. with Sunday’s go-round at 1:30 p.m. The weekend also features a rodeo dance Saturday evening in the Okotoks Curling Rink featuring top dance bands. Also the crowning of the Okotoks Pro Rodeo Queen will be held during Sunday’s rodeo performance. The rodeo often sells-out so plan to attend and order tickets early. The Rodeo Hotline is available effective July 1, call 403-938-1518.