Your Rodeo Week Guide – Cloverdale’s downtown events

Team Turkey at the 2010 Bed Races during Rodeo Days.

YOUR RODEO WEEK GUIDE

The 65th Cloverdale Rodeo and 122nd Country Fair doesn’t officially begin until next Friday, but those in the know say the party really starts this weekend and promises to keep right on going.

Get into the swing of things with a host of local events designed to rev up the rodeo spirit, from the zany annual bed races and pancake breakfasts, to mechanical bull riding, chili-cook off, and the classic rodeo parade.

COUNTRY KICKOFF

This Saturday it’s the Cloverdale Rodeo Kickoff Party, from 6 p.m. to close at Mavericks Taphouse and Grill, 188 and Highway 10. Dance to the music of the Brent Lee Band.

BED RACES

You’ll be amazed at the zany – and surprisingly competitive – Bed Races. Teams compete for men’s, women’s and best dressed trophies, which all resemble bedpans.

Participants include everybody from local high school students and community groups to teams from local businesses. Last year’s competitors ran the gamut, from anxious-looking young men in lime green Spandex to a boisterous gang of marauding pirates from the Surrey Museum.

A new “hospitality” division has been added this year.

Bed races get underway at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19 and run to 7:30 p.m. It takes place on 176A Street, between 57 and 58 Avenue, where the judges’ reviewing stand is set up.

DECORATED BIKE PARADE

The bed races are preceded by the Kids’ Decorated Bike Parade, Thursday, May 19 at 5 p.m. Three kids’ bikes and other prizes will be awarded by random draw. There’s also a special prize for most creative entry. Be warned: the competition is pretty stiff! Takes place on The 5700-block of 176A Street.

CHILI COOK-OFF

A spirit of friendly, but fierce, competition reigns at this event, which features good food and entertainment. And it’s all free.

Team Falcon Chili Cook-offSample free chili served up by dozens of participants but don’t forget to vote for your favourite.

Last year, more than 4,500 people turned out to taste test, but supplies ran out. Hint: bring your own bowl and spoon.

Last year, Team Falcon, comprised of local MLAs Kevin Falcon, Stephanie Cadieux and staff took home the coveted first place prize in 2010 – the third straight year. Will 2011 bring their fourth chili cook off title?

There’s live music, too: Danica Danielsen and the B.C. Junior Talent Search semi finalists perform. Friday, May 20, at Clover Square Village (Hwy 10 and 177B St.) from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

CLOVERDALE RODEO PARADE

Nowhere does the spirit of Rodeo week ring truer than in downtown Cloverdale.

Each year, as many as 10,000 eager spectators pour onto the sidewalks along the parade route for the annual Cloverdale Rodeo Parade.

On Saturday, May 21 there will be more than 80 entries and 1,200 participants rolling, marching, dancing, trotting and walking along the parade route in floats, classic cars, on horseback, as part of marching bands and community groups, or even astride motorcycles.

It runs from 10 a.m. to noon. Don’t forget to bring along a non-perishable food item to donate to the Surrey Food Bank. Volunteers will be collecting donations. There will also be donation bins along the route.

The Cloverdale Lions present their annual pancake breakfast at Hawthorne Square at the 5748 176 Street. Live entertainment by the Trailer Park Playboys.

TRY YOUR HAND AT BULL RIDING

Why leave the bull riding to the pros?

Test your mettle at Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino, which presents mechanical bull rides in the main atrium. Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free and open to the public. Prizes.

TRICYCLE RACES

The Cloverdale Legion (Branch 6) hosts its famous Tricycle races Thursday, May 19 at 7 p.m., following the bed races, offering thrills and spills.

There are three people per team, with prizes for the top three teams. There’s no entry fee. Practice runs start at 5 p.m.

The legion is offering Rodeo Pancake Breakfasts Friday though Monday, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

And from May 20-22, the Ladies’ Auxiliary presents steak barbecue dinners from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The legion is located at 17567 57 Avenue.

SHEEP TO SHAWL

The Sheep to Shawl competition at the Surrey Museum takes place Saturday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Watch local spinning and weaving teams compete.

There’s also sheep shearing, wool displays, and hands-on activities where visitors can try weaving on heritage looms or spinning on old-fashioned spinning wheels. Call 604-592-6956 for more information.

HEARTY BREKKIES

There’s no need to make your own breakfast before the parade. A host of local organizations are once again serving up pancake breakfasts.

The Cloverdale Lions host the annual Rodeo Parade Pancake Breakfast at 5748 176 Street Saturday, May 21, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The Cloverdale Legion (Branch 6) hosts pancake breakfasts every day during Rodeo weekend.

The Canadian Reformed Church of Cloverdale hosts a free pancake breakfast Saturday, May 21 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. They’re located at 17473 60 Avenue.

Cloverdale United Church also hosts a Rodeo pancake breakfast Saturday, May 22 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 17575 58A Ave.

Rodeo Days events are presented by the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association, the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino, Cloverdale Lions, Kevin Falcon, and PriceSmart Foods.

WE’RE YOUR GUIDE

Look for the Reporter’s Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair Events Program, the most comprehensive guide to rodeo week and 65th annual rodeo and 122nd country fair.

It includes maps, event listings, and stages.

It’s available at the Cloverdale Rodeo Fairground gates, at pre-rodeo events, and at Black Press offices (including ours, at 17586 56A Avenue) starting May 18.