Innisfail professional rodeo back for 52nd year

From June 14th to 17th spectators can take in any number of events at the 52nd annual Innisfail Professional Rodeo.

The rodeo will once again be held at Daines Ranch Rodeo just four miles north of Innisfail.

“My dad has loved rodeo his whole life so this is his pride and he wants everybody to just come out and have a good time, it’s just kind of become our tradition,” said Duane Daines of his father Jack Daines.

Starting June 13th there will be events for the public to take part in including a 5 p.m. rodeo show in different events followed by the ever-popular rodeo dance, which is included in the price of admission.

Guests must be 18 or older to take part in the dance.

On June 14th and June 15th regular events will begin at 5 p.m. including the junior events and the beginning of the professional rodeo at 6:45 p.m. followed by a dance.

Saturday sees the town of Innisfail and visitors from around Central Alberta gather on the streets of Innisfail for the 10 a.m. annual Rotary Parade. Events on Saturday start at 1 p.m. with the junior events followed by the professionals at 1:30 p.m.

“The parade is a celebration for the town of Innisfail. We’ve always been a part of the town and helped put it on the map, this is an event for families to come out,” said Duane.

The theme of this year’s parade is ‘Salute to Agriculture’ and Duane said there will be, as in past years, horses, businesses, bands and more for families to come out and see.

The evening of June 16th is jam-packed with events as well including junior rodeo at 6 p.m. and professionals starting at 6:45 p.m. with the last dance of the rodeo weekend to follow. Sunday offers the final shows at 1 and 1:30 p.m.

There is camping available on site as well as parking both of which are included in the price of admission.

“All we try to do each year is put on a real world class rodeo and this year is no different. You’re going to see lots of contestants including some of the top guys and gals and all the best stock that’s available.”

Duane said with this year being the Calgary Stampede’s 100th anniversary that the Innisfail Professional Rodeo is almost like a preview of the rodeo events that will be held in July.

“The difference here is you’re up close and personal. It’s just a ranch setting and is kind of a throw back, there’s not even any pavement out here.”

He said rodeo is like a family sport and he encourages people to come out and take in the sights and sounds of the weekend.

On June 15th spectators are invited to wear red to support the troops and on June 17th to wear pink in support of breast cancer research and the ‘Tough enough to wear pink’ campaign.

“We take part in these two things because we want to show our support and we want our fans and everybody to take part, too.”

For those who have little ones interested in the rodeo there is also an event just for them. Children aged five to seven are invited to take part in the sheep riding which takes place each day.

“What’s special about our rodeo is that we just let it happen. The show people are going to come out to see is a full menu of the best we can provide.”

To register a child in the sheep riding or for more information on the rodeo, call 403-227-3166.