This Friday and Saturday is the 24th annual Moosomin Rodeo.
There is a full line-up of events planned for the weekend.
On Friday, at 4 pm, the beer gardens (Swayze’s Saloon) will open and the concession at the rodeo grounds will open from 4:30 to 10 pm.
Rodeo action on the Friday night starts at 6:30 pm. There will be wild pony races at intermission.
After the rodeo, Quinton Blair, the two-time Manitoba Country Music Association Roots Artist of the Year, will be performing at Swayze’s Saloon.
Saturday kicks off with pancake breakfast hosted by the Moosomin Fire Department at the fire hall from 7-9 am.
At 9 am there will be rodeo slack.
At 10 pm, there will be a parade, hosted by the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce, followed by a pingpong ball drop.
A bucking bull futurity will be held at 1 pm that day, and from 1-5 pm there will be a kids carnival.
The beer gardens will open at 2 pm.
At 2:30 pm, people will have the chance to see some local talent with the Moosomin Rodeo Idol contest, which will be held in Swayze’s Saloon. Each year the Idol contest grows and features some great local talent voted on by a panel of local judges.
Rodeo action on Saturday starts at 6:30 pm with wild pony races at intermission.
Quinton Blair will be performing in Swayze’s Saloon after the rodeo again on the Saturday night.
The weekend wraps up with a non-denominational cowboy church service on Sunday at 10:30 am at the rodeo grounds. The service will feature music by Anthony Kelly, a local country music singer and songwriter. The Moosomin Association of Churches is hosting the service.
Rodeo president Derek Smart says there have been some improvements to the rodeo grounds this year—something that the committee is proud of.
“We’ve got new bleachers, so that’s an exciting thing, and we have a new announcer’s booth being built.
“We’re only one weekend of the year so it’s important so that we get the facilities so that other people can use them.
“It’s nice to have permanent bleachers there so at least when people are using it they have some seating.”
He says there will be lots to do on the weekend, and the rodeo will see some additional events and more contestants this year.
“We have kids events going on this year. We’ll have the bucking bull futurity and Moosomin Idol and then the rodeos are at 6:30 each night.
“We have quite a few barrel racers signed up this year and the rough stock is always a thing that is a little more exciting. We’ve tried to entice more into that and we’ve added money to some of the prizes and we’ve gotten more bull riders. We have 20 bull riders this year, so that’s nice to see, and then some saddle bronc and bareback. There is also some junior bull riding.
“It’s important to try and bring up the young people that want to do it or else there won’t be a future in the industry.
“We have also added in a bull riding championship. We have the top bullrider in the CCA and MRCA, and the best ride of each night gets on a second bull, and this year the pot should be $3,000. The last few years we’ve done it and nobody’s won. That’s exciting and I think that brings out a few extra bullriders if there’s more money.”
What is the highlight for many people?
“I think just everything happening on the weekend—the rodeo, and then obviously the beer gardens and the dance and music is always a highlight,” says Smart.
“We’ve got a live band, Quinton Blair, both nights, and that should help to bring out some people.”
Smart says rodeo attendance can fluctuate depending on the weather but the Moosomin Rodeo has been lucky to see some pretty large crowds.
“We’ve seen anywhere from 400 to 700 on the Friday night and upwards of over 1,000 to 1,100 on Saturday night,” he says.
He says it’s not uncommon for people to plan other events to coincide with the weekend of the rodeo.
“It and the fireworks are kind of the two big events that happen in Moosomin that people like to coincide with,” he says. “Next year is our 25th, so we are hoping to see if we can make it a little more special.”
The rodeo wouldn’t exist without dedicated volunteers and Smart says they have started recognizing those volunteers every year now during the rodeo action.
“There are a lot of people who have put a lot of work in to get the rodeo to where it is today, so every year we want to honor a volunteer or a couple who have been instrumental in getting the rodeo to where it is. And we will be doing that on Friday night, offering a volunteer buckle and a bit of an award to those who got us to where we are.”
Why go to the rodeo? Smart says it’s just plain fun.
“If you’re looking for something to do, a family outing or even just hanging out with some friends, it’s a good time,” he says. “And hopefully the weather co-operates. Whether it does or not, we go rain or shine.
“It’s just an opportunity to see some good rodeo action and be a part of the events in Moosomin on the weekend.”