Big BBQ to heat up the Rodeo

The Cowboy Cook-off, skateboarding championships, and a Dinotown preview are new additions to the 2012 Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.

Never a dull moment during bronc riding at the Cloverdale Rodeo.

Never a dull moment during bronc riding at the Cloverdale Rodeo.

With just 43 days left to go, the countdown to the 2012 Cloverdale Rodeo has officially begun.

Canada’s largest barbecue competition, a world freestyle skateboarding championship, and a visit from B.C.’s much-missed Dinotown theme park are just some of the new attractions in store, according to publicist Laura Ballance of LBMG.

“There’s a lot of preparation underway. We think we’ve got a really strong lineup this year,” Ballance said, speaking after last week’s annual general meeting of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association. The non-profit organization manages the rodeo and country fair, plus oversees the eight facilities at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds year-round.

The 66th annual rodeo and 124th country fair, set for May 18 to 21, will again feature the traditional favourites – the invitational-format rodeo with Canadian and world champions, plus the long-running country fair, kids zone, agri zone, midway, and outdoor entertainment stage – along with several new events, starting with the first annual Cloverdale Cowboy Cook Off.

Langley food maven and barbecue queen Angie Quaale, head cook and pitmaster of her own competition team, will oversee the two-day event and help enforce the rules.

“We think it is going to be a lot of fun,” Ballance said. There’s $10,000 in prize money up for grabs, and amateurs will be able to enter, so get cooking.

Amateurs and pros will also compete for $10,000 in prize money at another new event, the four-day World Freestyle Skateboard Roundup.

The fair also features a preview of an attraction that will spending the summer at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds – Dinotown Live, a reloaded version of the cartoon dinosaur town theme park that closed in 2010.

The attraction itself opens June 25 and runs to Sept. 3, and will feature a live show, along with dinosaur education and inflatable fun.

A vintage hot rod show is another new addition, rounding out the list of attractions designed to appeal to traditionalists and newbies alike, and, like the BBQ and boarding contests, included with the price of admission to the country fair.

Each May long weekend, hundreds of volunteers and about 10 staff members pull together to host one of the largest annual events of its size in the country and one of the top rodeos in North America.

Volunteers recognized at AGM

Ken Kachur, a long-time Cloverdale Rodeo volunteer was recognized last week for more than 20 years of dedicated service.

Kachur, who stepped down from his position as treasurer, was considered an integral part of the association, even acting as an interim general manager on a volunteer basis in 2010.

Four other long-serving volunteers were named Lifetime Members of the association: past rodeo chair and volunteer Rocky Rockwell, Florian Kirner, who volunteered for more than two decades, serving as a member of the board of directors and chair of the country fair committee, and Ernie and Charlene Bayer, who have also volunteered for more than two decades.

“The strength of this association is largely because of the dedication of our volunteers,” president Shannon Claypool said. “These four long serving members are extremely worthy of this honour.”

Two incumbents – Rob Marshall and Gerry Spielmacher – were re-elected to the board of directors for 2012 at the March 27 AGM.

Longtime volunteer Jenece Steinson was elected to the board for the first time.

The complete 2012 board of directors are:

Shannon Claypool, president;

Penny Smythe, 1st vice president and Rodeo Chair;

Rob Marshall, second vice president,

Gerry Spielmacher, treasurer and country fair committee chair,

Garry Hollick, director at large

Randy Miller, volunteer chair,

Jack Boyce, Surrey Board of Trade representative

George Siudit, City of Surrey representative,

Lisa White, City of Surrey representative

Marvin Hunt, Surrey City Council representative

Bill Reid, provincial representative,

Jenice Stinson

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