STORY BY KEVIN RUSHWORTH
Having wowed audiences for more than five decades, the celebrated tradition of the Little Britches Parade and Rodeo continues this summer in High River on May 19, once again combining the visual delights of one of southern Alberta’s finest parades and seeing future rodeo stars in action.
The parade begins at 10 a.m., rain or shine, and winds its way through the streets of downtown High River. It’s the perfect way to kick off the community’s summer tourism season.
The High River and District Chamber of Commerce had organized the parade for 18 years. The 2014 parade is the first to be organized by the Town of High River.
After the parade finishes up, there will be a beef on a bun barbecue at Rotary Park, as well as a battle of the bands. Those marching bands participating in the parade will have one last performance.
“Come visit High River this summer,” said Dayna Dickens of the town’s business and tourism office. “High River is open for business and we have some wonderful events lined up (for) this summer.”
At 1 p.m., visit the High River and District Agricultural Grounds for the exciting indoor Little Britches Rodeo, which is a free event.
“My favourite aspect (of the rodeo) is seeing the kids and their smiles,” said Heather Mills, rodeo chairperson. “They’re cheering each other on and it’s the support that comes with seeing kids having a good time.”
Mills said it is a great time to show visitors that the spirit of High River is still strong after the flood.
“I’m proud to know that I can give back to the community by helping put on events (like) this and carry on the heritage and tradition of rodeo and agriculture in our community,” Mills said.
The audience can expect to see crowd favourites such as mutton busting, wild pony racing, goat tail and tying, barrel racing, pole bending and break-away roping.
People who would like to register their children in the rodeo can visit www.hragsociety.ca for more information.
Both Mills and Dickens want to thank the volunteers, sponsors and the organizing committees who worked hard to create the 2014 Little Britches Parade and Rodeo.