(Facebook photo/Ponoka Stampede)

(Facebook photo/Ponoka Stampede)

Ponoka Stampede’s Stagecoach Saloon gets expansion, the ‘Showdown Dance Hall’

The Ponoka Stampede’s Stagecoach Saloon just got bigger and better. The building got an 80 foot by 140 foot expansion and will be known as the Showdown Dance Hall.

Keith Kjenner says the former setup saw patrons having to move from the grounds to the nearby arena for the dance hall and beer gardens.

Kjenner, who is one of 16 directors on the Stampede board, says that this was often a bit of a hassle for those camping at the Stampede Grounds.

The new dance hall eliminates the need to leave the grounds and is safer and easier for those looking for live entertainment after the rodeo.

It also frees up the arena, which is the site of a trade show for local retailers and businesses to display their products and services.

Kjenner says the new structure also fills a need for a large rental facility in the community. The saloon is currently booked throughout the year with weddings and other events.

The new addition is large enough for farm machinery to be displayed inside and will provide the community with a facility for large gatherings and events such as car shows.

Kjenner explained that the Stampede used a tent last year but heavy rains got inside. The board then discussed a permanent tent structure, and even a pole barn.

They began talks with Eagle Builders who are a long-time sponsor of the Stampede. Kjenner says they knew when Eagle Builders promised the addition to be finished by the time the Stampede started, that it would be finished.

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The new structure was constructed by all local companies within the Ponoka area.

To ensure the expansion was ready for this year’s Stampede, a few things were left out of the original construction.

Kjenner says there won’t be any washrooms in the new structure this year, but they will be added at a later date. The dance hall will have a concrete floor with more floor work being done after the Stampede as well.

Ponoka Stampede