Dusty Hausauer holds on tight during his go on a bucking bronco in the saddle bronc event last year in Benalto. The Benalto Fair and Stampede returns for its 102nd year June 4-7. File photo

Benalto Fair and Stampede returns for 102nd year

The four-day event will run from July 4-7 at the Benalto Exhibition Grounds

The Benalto Stampede is bringing another year of thrilling pro-rodeo action to the Benalto Exhibition Grounds for its 102nd anniversary.

The four-day event, from July 4-7, will bring the same format from the past few years, according to Benalto Agriculture Society’s President Neal Arksey.

“We have an obstacle challenge on Saturday… it’s an equine event. And we have entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” said Arksey adding the junior rodeo event will occur on Friday.

Rain is in the forecast for most of the weekend, but that won’t stop the show from going on.

Arksey says much of the grounds has a covered grandstand for spectators to help keep them out of the rain.

“We go rain or shine. It has to be pretty bad weather to get us to stop,” he said

What keeps the crowds coming back each year for more than a century is the up close and personal feel of the show, according to Arksey.

Much of the seating for the performances is close to the action, whether in the grandstand or in the VIP section.

“I think we are one of the more up close rodeos out there.”

The stampede performances in the evening will be supplemented by lots of activity during the day.

Arksey says there will be a market type event set up on Benalto’s main street. The exhibition grounds will also have vendors and food trucks set up.

“I think it gives people something to do during the day. There is the junior rodeo and obstacle course, but a little something else too,” Arksey said.

Benalto’s annual stampede would not be what it is without dedicated volunteers. It is through the help of locals, and valued sponsors, that the rodeo continues to run each year for the last century.

The support of the small community has made the Benalto Fair and Stampede something to see, and brings in people from all around. In years past, spectators have come from as far away as England to watch.

“The trailers are already coming in,” Arksey said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s going to be a great weekend, I’m sure.”

Slack performances for timed events run on Thursday evening, with the main events occurring Friday and Saturday evening as well as Sunday afternoon.

Tickets are $20 a day for the show, weekend passes are available as well and come with free camping.

More information can be found online at www.benaltoagsociety.ca

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Jake Burwash flies off the back of his bucking bronco during the novice saddle bronc event at last year’s Benalto Fair and Stampede. File photo.

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