Rifleman’s Rodeo a no-go this year

Ponoka Fish and Game cancel big long weekend event

The Labour Day long weekend for the Ponoka Fish and Game Association will be much like most of 2020.

Unusually quiet.

This coming weekend normally plays host to their annual Rifleman’s Rodeo, but the event that draws members and other participants from around the province was cancelled several weeks ago when it became clear COVID-19 restrictions wouldn’t allow the event to be pulled off.

“With this type of event, it’s extremely difficult to maintain the social distancing requirements,” said association publicity chair Robert Greene, in an interveiw.

“So we figured the best thing to do was to cancel it.”

In fact, their Pofianga site just off Hwy. 2 near Menaik Road overpass — which includes a clubhouse, camping areas and shooting ranges — has been virtually closed since the pandemic restrictions were put in place back in March.

“We did have one trap shooting event this summer, but the set up there makes is easy to maintain the physical distancing necessary,” Greene added.

“The shutdown also gave us a chance to get done a needed remodel on the clubhouse addition, which has been on our agenda to finish for quite awhile.

“I’ve been around a long time and been through wars and a depression. And I can honestly say, this terrible situation is the worst thing I’ve ever been through.”

Their big fundraiser, the annual awards banquet held in February, is also in limbo at the moment.

“We are just in a wait-and-see mode right now, because we really don’t know what level of restrictions will be in place then,” Greene said.

“Right now, we couldn’t go ahead with it because you couldn’t safely distance 300 people in that venue. But, we’ll just go with the flow and hope that the restrictions are lifted or updated by then.”

For more on the association, head to their website at www.ponokafishandgame.ca.

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