The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair officially gets underway this Friday, but in the historic town centre, the party has already begun.
Whether it was witnessing this year’s return of a kickoff dance at Shannon Hall, starting the month off with a bang, engaging in the can-you-top this tradition of local businesses decorating their storefront windows with a Western theme or just dusting off those cowboy boots so they’re close at hand for the trek to the fairgrounds, Cloverdale businesses and residents alike love to show off their rodeo spirit.
Cloverdale Rodeo Days features a number of family-friendly events that are organized by the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition, the Cloverdale BIA and Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, and partners.
Crowds gather early for the Kid’s Decorated Bike Contest and the annual Cloverdale Bed Races on 176A Street Thursday, a day that’s capped off by a third skill-testing contest – tricycle races at the Cloverdale Legion.
There are some awesome prizes up for grabs at the Kid’s Decorated Bike Contest, awarded by random draw to participants in the contest, which starts at 6 p.m. (registration is at 5 p.m.), just before the bed races.
Creativity, colour and fun are all important consideration for judges. It’s free to enter but helmets are mandatory.
It’s open to children in three categories: ages five and under, six to 10, and 11 and up.
The entrants take part in a parade at 57A Avenue on 176A Street, beside Cloverdale Pharmasave.
There will also be a skateboarding demo by participants in the World Freestyle Round-up. These are the world’s best, and many of them have returned for their fourth year in a row, a tribute to the event’s well-deserved reputation.
Off to the Bed Races
The 38th annual Cloverdale Bed Races, also Thursday, feature teams of six pushers – three in each direction – plus one rider.
Competitors race along 176A Street between 57 and 58 Avenues. There are trophies for fastest mens, womens and mixed teams, and for best dressed.
The bed races get underway at 6:15 p.m. Heats are run until a winner is declared.
Trike races at the Legion
After the bed races, head on over to the Cloverdale Legion, where you can grab a bite, quench your thirst and take part in another skill-testing Rodeo challenge (for ages 19 and up).
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 6 has a busy May long weekend planned, starting with the annual Tricycle Race. Practice runs start at 5 p.m., registration is at 6 p.m, and the races begin at 7 p.m.; but take note: the time is approximate; the event starts after the Cloverdale Bed Races are over. There are three people per team (either two women and one man or two men and one woman), with prizes for the top three teams. No entry fee.
The Cloverdale Legion, located at 17567 57 Avenue, hosts pancake breakfasts throughout Rodeo weekend (May 15-18).
Cloverdalians are known for many things: friendliness, hospitality, and down-home charm. They also serve up a mean batch of chili.
The 18th annual Chili Cook-off will take over Clover Square Village (Highway 10 and 177B St.) Friday, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sample them all. Vote for your favourite.
There will be live music featuring the Trailer Park Playboys, and, for the kids, a colouring corral and bouncy castle.
It’s presented by Clover Square Village merchants in partnership with the Cloverdale BIA and the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce. Call the Chamber at 604-574-9802 and the BIA at 604-576-3155 for more information.
Cloverdale on parade
The 69th annual Cloverdale Rodeo Parade is expected to draw thousands of spectators into the historic town centre Saturday morning. The parade starts at 10 a.m., but arrive and follow your nose to a traditional pancake breakfast.
There are about 1,000 participants this year. The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society will have several entries of note, including a scale model Interurban railcar.
Watch for several entrants with heavy horses, a wide range of vintage and historic vehicles, a solid representation of political and service organizations, and – the stars of the show – the Gizeh Shriners, the quintessential parade component. This year’s Parade Marshall is Dianne Watts, former mayor of Surrey.
The parade starts at the corner of Highway 10 and 177B Street, heading west to 176 Street, north to 58A Avenue, east to 167A Street, north to 60 Avenue, turning south on 177B to 57 Avenue.
Visit CloverdaleBIA.com for more information.