A proposal to move slack to Friday night was approved by the Coronation Rodeo committee during their meeting on Thursday, January 18.
Traditionally, the slack performance is held the morning of the rodeo, immediately after the parade. The issue in past events, according to rodeo president Curtis Perry, was spreading their pool of volunteers too thin.
“A big part of it is that it’s hard to get volunteers,” Perry told the Review. “It’s hard to get volunteers for slack when the parade is in the morning.”
While moving slack to Friday night will incur some extra costs, Perry feels that the extra money spent will be worth it.
“It just makes it easier for our volunteers,” he said. “If we can ease the pain a little it might help in that regard.”
In addition, Dustin Edwards has been secured as the rodeo’s announcer. Edwards, who hails from Big Valley, is one of Alberta’s up and coming stars of the rodeo announcing circuit. Perry feels that Edwards will be a good fit for the rodeo.
The rodeo’s new date has yet to receive the official blessing of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association, but Perry is confident that the new date will be approved.
“Unofficially, it’s been okayed,” Perry said. “They [the CPRA] don’t see any reason why it won’t work out.”
Perry is expecting official word on the date change in the coming month. Organizers changed the date to Saturday, July 6 to take advantage of historically better weather. The rodeo was traditionally held in mid-June, a date that has led to more than one rodeo being rained out.
As for the rodeo grounds, organizers had planned to spend October reviewing the arena and planning changes. However, the early snowfall put an end to these plans forcing organizers to wait until the spring to begin work.
Any major work on the bleachers won’t happen until after this year’s rodeo, Perry said. The bleachers on the west side of the arena are built into the side of a hill, a constant headache for both groundskeepers and spectators. The hill also contributes to the issue that caused last year’s rodeo to the cancelled: drainage. The hill prevents accumulated water from emptying into the reservoir, causing the arena to become flooded with water. Installing drainage pipes and weeping ties into the arena grounds is one possible solution if removing the hill entirely is deemed to be too big of a job.