With a tip of his hat, the cowboy signals his readiness and the chute is thrown open. Stettler’s Steel Wheel Stampede has begun.
According to organizers, there is little expected as far as change in the 2023 edition of Stettler’s venerable rodeo which is set to take place June 9 and 10.
Bull riding action will take place on the first of the two evenings the event is running. Bronc and bull riding action will both be front-and-centre on the second evening with all stock being provided by Northcott Rodeo Inc.
New for 2023, organizers will be hosting barrel racing on Saturday afternoon.
While the evening performances will kick off at 7 p.m. both evenings, the barrel racing will run from noon to 5 p.m. on June 10 only.
Those checking out the rodeo action are invited to stick around for entertainment after the show.
“There’s a cabaret both nights,” said Heather Weatherly, one of the event organizers.
Spinning the tunes on Friday evening will be Dally Up and Dance DJ Services from Hanna, Alta. On Saturday, Western Saskatchewan group Mitch Larock and the 4:54 Band will take the stage.
“They are always well received,” said Heatherly.
In addition to the events at the grounds, there is also a full slate of activities planned around town as well.
“The town has really come on board,” said Weatherly.
The Town of Stettler and the County of Stettler will be hosting a joint pancake breakfast at the agriplex on June 10. At 11 a.m. a parade will kick off from West Stettler Park and wind its way through town before ending up at the agricultural grounds.
A junior firefighter event will be held at the agricultural grounds from 2-5 p.m., and an antique tractor pull demonstration will take place at 5:30.
Elsewhere, the Stettler Magnetos Car Club will be hosting a show-and-shine on the north end of Main Street, and helping the Heartland Youth Centre run its Soap Box Derby as well.
For those getting hungry and in the mood for something different, food trucks will be on-site at the grounds before both evening performances.
For the latest information, check out the Steel Wheel Stampede website at steeelwheelstampede.com.