By Jeremy Appel
Alberta Newspaper Group
Participants come from as far east as Manitoba for the annual August long weekend Bow Island Agricultural Society Rodeo.
“The family feel you get with rodeo drags everybody form town to town to town and it’s just a livewire rodeo that bring everybody out,” said Pat Kielstra, secretary of the rodeo committee.
“We love the camaraderie you get from everyone who’s with us.”
She says “countless hours” are spent preparing for the rodeo, from recruiting sponsors to getting the grounds ready.
“The Bow Island committee is small, but we’re quite mighty,” Kielstra said.
One rodeo participant, roper Michael Miller from Milk River, says rodeo flows through his veins.
“My grandpa, he was always riding horses, and my mom rodeoed a bit,” said Miller. “I’d always wanted to do it.”
He says he particularly appreciates the competitive nature of rodeo, practicing “as many days of the week as I can to stay as sharp as possible.”
“It’s all great fun,” Miller said.
Aaron Davies, a participant from Coronation, Alta., about two hours east of Red Deer, was in Bow Island to take part in the tie-down event.
He called rodeo “a way of life,” with “never-ending” preparation.
“To hear the crowd and be here, I just love it,” said Davies. “There’s no other way to explain it. It’s just a fulfilling feeling to be in the arena doing what you love with all the support of friends and committee.
“Everybody is working together. It’s just a great thing to be a part of.”