There will always be lots of pretzels and beer, but unfortunately no more drive-in movies, but what the heck, summer is here, and hopefully we can all look forward to lots of quality time together in the sun, sand and a few cool evening showers.
Before our precious students from grades 1 to 12 can let loose, it is now ‘eyes down’ for their final exams after lots of cramming; but once the report cards have been discussed around the kitchen table and tucked away in the ‘forget me’ file after June 30, that sizzling summer madness can roar into full swing. For most, the next two months of freedom will include late nights, sleep-ins and hanging out with buddies while for many, there will also be all sorts of summer camps, a family holiday, or even a part-time job to make a little money for leisure events or to save for their next adventure at college or trade schools come September.
Welcome to the Stampede
About the same time that the Ponoka News hits the streets this week, the stores and the streets will be decorated and the ‘tent and trailer’ town will be setting up in and around the Stampede grounds on every dry green space that can be found. Just like it has been over the past 80 years, our town and county of Ponoka and Stampede Association will put out the welcome mat for thousands of visitors from near and far for seven rip-roaring days and nights of family fun and hospitality, both up on the grounds and around our great community. Please take time to visit our friendly businesses, clubs, and attractions, pop into the complex for the art and gift show and the farmer’s market, and play a round or two on the best golf courses in the province. When you need a casual break for a picnic, drop over to the Ponoka Lions’ Centennial Park, where the family can enjoy our colorful history at the Fort Ostell Museum, let the kids check out the neat new playground and get soaked in the Splash Park or try a game of mini-golf. The Calnash Ag-Event Centre along Highway 2A is once again hosting the blazing action of the Canadian Mounted Shooters and the Stampede Team Roping, and then just head up stairs and browse through the Rodeo Hall of Fame.
If your tummy is moaning in the morning, the free pancake breakfasts this time around will include: ATB Outlaw Roundup and Breakfast June 29, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion and the Alberta Cattlemen’s Pancake breakfast and Cowboy Church on Sunday, July 3 at 8 a.m. in front of the big grandstand. There is also Hammy’s annual July 1 BBQ in the IGA parking lot at 11 a.m., the Chick’s for Charity Champagne Breakfast at the Stagecoach Saloon on Saturday, July 2 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., the day when we all need to be ‘tough enough to wear pink’ in support of cancer research.
If you and your sidekicks are heading out to the Friday and Saturday beer gardens or other social events, please make sure to take along a designated hombre to do the driving, because the Sheriff and his Posse will be watching. Whether you are shaking in your boots through the oohs and aahs on the midway, cheering for all the great rodeo action/pony and chuckwagon racing and super entertainment in front of the grandstands, or taking in the friendly atmosphere around our community, there will be lots to do during this gala 80th Ponoka Stampede week. Whatever the case, please play safe and throughout your travels watch out for all those hundreds of other big and little compokes having a good time. Along the way, wherever we wander, it is always a good idea to take along some sun-tan lotion and bug spray, your comfy seat cushion, and maybe some rain gear… just in case, then go ahead and have a rip-roaring week (at your speed) all of you.