Bulls and Broncs this Saturday in Moosomin

July 8, 2024, 9:14 am
Ryan Kiedrowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

On top of the bulls and broncs rodeo action, there is lots going on this weekend. Above: A bareback rider during last year’s event.

Building on three decades of stellar events, the Moosomin Rodeo will host the 31st edition of the annual Bulls and Broncs event this Saturday at Bradley Park.

This year, events are going to look a little different, but Bulls and Broncs continues to promise excitement.

“There’s only one horse riding event this year, which is saddle bronc and not bareback,” explained Chelan Beckett, vice-president of the Moosomin Rodeo.
“Last year, we had both events plus the bull riding riding and some junior events. The horse riding numbers just weren’t quite there where we want them to be for a performance.”

“We took out one to try and get more guys to go into saddle bronc; to make it more of an entertainment thing and really fill up the chutes,” she continued.
Junior steer riding will remain in the lineup alongside the saddle bronc and bull riding.

Last year there were a large number of bull riding entries, and by the response Beckett has seen so far, this years’ numbers will surpass those of 2023.

“This year, we had even more, so we kind of need to make room for those guys,” she said, estimating at least 20 bull riders entered to date.
“That’s what we figured would make things flow the best.”

The idea to donate to the cause, helping the daycare fund the building of a second location was easy, according to Beckett.

“We feel that it’s something that is needed in our community, and we have a lot of families on our committee who take their kids to daycare,” she said. “It’ll definitely help and hopefully it takes them a bit further in their project.”

The Bulls and Broncs event is also sanctioned by Bull Riders Canada with more than $6,000 up for grabs, enticing some quality talent to the lure of lasting eight seconds after that chute opens. In fact, Whitewood is hosting a BRC event as well with their Pipestone Bull Bash on the night before the Moosomin event—something that Beckett believes will draw more riders and spectators alike.

“Being BRC, both Whitewood and Moosomin could really pull in some extra riders just so they can ride both nights,” she said. “It’s definitely helped us, and it’s helped our crowd as well that they can see it two nights in a row.”

Some of those on the BRC circuit have local roots, so not only do fans get to see some hometown heroes, but also enjoy a high-calibre event with those familiar faces.

“It pulls people from all over the place and I think just because they know that instead of only watching five or six bull riders, and maybe none of them stick a ride, they can watch 20 or so bull riders and a percentage of them will stick their ride,” Beckett noted.

Expect to see a lot of folks in town for the July 12/13 weekend as numbers tend to swell for the event.

“Since we started doing the Bulls and Broncs rough stock events, we can see anywhere from 900 to 1,200 people in a night,” Beckett said. “With our cabaret afterwards, that pulls in a few extra people, but definitely around that 1,000-people mark.”

Lots of events

It’s going to be a busy weekend with pre-Bulls and Broncs activities kicking off on Friday. Head down to the Town Office between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. for a barbecue served up by members of Moosomin Town Council with proceeds going to the Playfair Daycare.

It’s been awhile since this particular barbecue has happened, marking a return this year for the first time since before Covid, so it’s bound to be a popular kick-off to Rodeo Weekend.

Money raised will be going to the new building project that the Playfair Daycare is working on, an 8,000 square foot, single-level building to answer the need for more spaces. Playfair’s current facility has room for 71 spots, and the new building will add another 90 to that, bringing capacity up to 161 spaces.

Movie in the park

Friday evening is a Movie in the Park at the Nutrien Sportsplex with doors opening at 8:30 p.m. and the feature presentation hitting the screen at dusk.
“I always loved going to the drive-in, and I thought it’d be a good idea if we could have one in Moosomin, because there’s not really any close around,” said Jasmine Davidson, coordinator of Moosomin Communities in Bloom.

Exactly which movie playing is still up in the air as Davidson posted a poll on the Communities in Bloom Facebook page, providing three options to choose from. The title with the most votes will determine what hits the outdoor screen.

“It’ll be all free, and you can bring your snacks, blankets and whatever you would like,” she said.

With the event being hosted by the local Communities in Bloom, residents interested in the program have the opportunity to meet with committee members—a chance to find out some of the unique initiatives happening this year.

One of those exciting projects currently underway is a virtual garden tour, which the Communities in Bloom team has been quite thrilled with producing.
“You put your you sign up, you give me your address we get drone footage of your garden,” Davidson explained. “We’re going to compile them all together so they’re like a big virtual garden tour. We’ve done one and it looks so cool!”

The drone footage also provides a unique perspective, adding to an already beautiful garden display.

“The last one we went, I drove by that house a million times and I didn’t know how beautiful it was until I actually got the opportunity to look at it and showcase it,” Davidson said.

Another exciting venture is the 2024 Scotts Miracle-Gro Best Garden contest, which runs until August. 20. Nominate yourself and others in the contest, and a dozen lucky people will win signage, a jug of Miracle-Gro Shake n Feed plant food, and a container of Miracle-Gro water soluble all purpose plant food.

Pancake breakfast

On Saturday morning, the Moosomin Volunteer Fire Department is serving up a pancake breakfast (starting at 7 a.m.) over at the fire hall—a tradition that’s held for decades in town.

“People line up and have their breakfast on the morning, and then go do the parade,” said Moosomin Fire Chief Rob Hanson. “It’s been a tradition for many years.”

The firefighters typically serve up between 200 and 300 plates, with proceeds from the special breakfast going back to the local fire department’s equipment fund.

“Parrish & Heimbecker donated the pancake mix to us, and then we just buy the sausages from the Co-op, syrup and whatever and get at ‘er,” Hanson said.

With rising costs on everything, fundraisers like the annual pancake breakfast help the Moosomin Volunteer Fire Department afford updated gear, equipment, and continual training for firefighters.

“I’m going to blame it on COVID, all this stuff has doubled in price since since the early 2020s,” Hanson said. “Prices of trucks have doubled, turnout gear’s up considerably. Even a helmet is $350 now, so it’s astronomical the prices.”

Hanson estimates to fully outfit a firefighter with all the gear they need to do their job safely can easily run $5,000.

‘Candyland’ theme of Chamber parade

After you’ve loaded up on breakfast, why not take in the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce parade, which will begin winding down the streets at 10 a.m.
“For a small town, Moosomin always has a big parade—and this year is not going to be any exception,” said Moosomin Chamber of Commerce president Kevin Weedmark.

Many local businesses will be entering floats this year, with a ‘Candyland’ theme, and there will be a large representation of Shriners.

“We’ve got four different Shriner units that are going to be part of it including the Moosomin Shrine Club’s go-cart patrol, which is always always a hit,” Weedmark said. “We’ll also have the Indian Head Shriners Steel Drum Band, the Brandon Shriners will be here with their mini Mustangs and the Carlyle Shrine Club will be coming with their vehicles, including a mini ambulance and a mini semi truck.”

Expanding on the this year’s theme, Weedmark highlighted the tradition of tossing candy in a small town parade.

“We just went with a really fun parade theme this year,” he said. “Candy is always a big part of small town parades; tossing out candy to the to the kids along the parade route. This year, we thought we’d made that the theme and let people have fun decorating their floats in that theme. I’ve heard back from a lot of people who are having fun with it.”

There are two major rules to abide by when it comes to this perennial tradition as Weedmark noted, “the rule here is throw lots of candy, and the other rule around the parade is have fun. Those are our two rules!”

There’s also a special thrill for horse lovers as some beautiful equines will be front and centre, as Weedmark explained.

“Leading the parade will be a team of Appaloosa horses from Doug Sauter, who has led the Calgary Stampede parade for the last years,” he said. “He comes up from Oklahoma with these beautiful Appaloosas and he’ll be waving the Canadian flag, leading our parade this year.”

Marshalling for the parade begins at 9 a.m. in the McNaughton High School parking lot.

“It just keeps getting bigger every year,” Weedmark said of the parade participants. “We line the floats up in banks and then have them peel out one group after another, and the rows usually fill that parking lot and then down Ellice Street and onto Gertie Street. It’s quite a lineup!”

“It’s always a lot of fun, and it’s always without fail, the hottest day of the summer that Bulls and Broncs weekend,” Weedmark said, noting the forecast of 30°C for the day.

Homemade treasures at the Makers Market

Also starting at 10 am is a Makers Market over at the Moosomin Visual Arts Centre (701 Ellice Street), running until 3 pm.

This outdoor event will feature homemade goods, arts, and crafts with folks from in and around Moosomin participating.

There will also be a bounce tent, cotton candy, a lemonade stand, and popcorn on offer from 11 am to 3 pm.

“We have tables booked from local and surrounding area artists/makers, and the market is exclusive to selling homemade goods and crafts,” explained Merissa Lantz of MVAC. “We still have room for anyone who would like to sign up.”

Anyone interested in a $25 table can text me(306) 434-7095 for more information.

“This is a free event, and anyone is welcome to come and check out the Market,” Lantz said, adding “we will have a table for any donations that the public would like to make to MVAC.”

Since officially opening the doors back in February, MVAC has been a flurry of activity with classes, events, and kids programs—a prime example being the upcoming summer camp ‘Passport Moosomin’ starting on July 22.

As for the Maker’s Market, it’s an event MVAC intends to repeat throughout the year.

“This is our first official Makers Market we have had,” Lantz said. “We have had lots of interest from local vendors that could not make it this weekend, but are interested in future dates. We hope to follow up with a Christmas Market in November.”

Scrumptious lunch, great cause

If you’re looking for an amazing lunch that can help make a difference for a local family, head over to the Moosomin Armoury Hall for a Filipino lunch with entertainment! There will be two seatings at 11:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. with proceeds going to the Lladones family, who recently lost their home and business in a fire on the morning of June 21.

Thankfully, the Lladones family was able to escape the building and only had a brief hospital stay as a result of the tragic event. Since that time, the entire community has rallied around the family, and this special lunch event is another testament to that support the Lladones family have so graciously received. Tickets to the Pinoy Lunch for a Cause are available at GL Apparel and Promotions (or call Leo at (306) 435-4222), Adair Farm and Ranch Supply, and the World-Spectator.

Diners can expect lots of rice, pansit, spring rolls, and delicious puto (rice cake) for dessert.

“We’re going to have like a Filipino band that’s going to play pop music, maybe some Filipino songs too,” said Michael Vantomme of the Filipino Community. “We might have some members of the community that will volunteer to sing or dance, we’re not really sure yet, but definitely there’ll be a band to serenade the visitors.”

The event this year has doubled with 400 tickets available, but they are expected to sell fast. Last year, the Filipino Community held one seating of their famous lunch, with proceeds going to recreation in Moosomin.

“The proceeds of the one last year went to the basketball court—the Terry Lind Basketball Court—so there was only there was only one seating,” explained Vantomme. “We were supposed to have one seating only this time, but then because we wanted to raise more funds for the Lladones family, that’s when we decided to have two seatings.”

A GoFundMe campaign has also been organized, already surpassing the $5,000 goal. Indeed, another example of Moosomin’s continued compassion to gather around when a community member is in need.

Bulls, broncs, and Quinton Blair

At 7 p.m., the Bulls and Broncs event kicks off over at the Moosomin Rodeo Grounds, with Quinton Blair performing at the following cabaret starting at 9 p.m.

Blair is an eight-time Manitoba Country Music Award winner, and has shared the stage with the likes of Corb Lund, George Canyon, Charlie Major, Terri Clark, Doc Walker, the Road Hammers, High Valley and many more big names.

Plus, he’ll more than likely be performing tunes from his most recent release Someday Sunday, which came out in March.

“He’s coming for a second year in a row this year, so that’s always exciting to get in the groove of some things,” said Moosomin Rodeo vice-president Chelan Beckett.

So far, Blair’s tour has seen him play many a rodeo, and the Moosomin show will be fresh off a two-night stint at Country Thunder in Craven.

This year also features a live Calcutta during the short round bull riding with Livestock Markets Association of Canada ‘Rookie of the Year’ Ty Cutler as auctioneer.

“People can bid on the bull rider they think will win the event, or they can bid on the bullpen to win,” Beckett said.

“With that, a portion of our proceeds from the Calcutta we’re going to donate to Playfair Daycare.”