Ed­i­tor The Drumheller Mail

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS -

Dear Ed­i­tor;

Hello friends and neigh­bours and to­tal strangers.

There is an event hap­pen­ing in less than two months from now that has a great deal of sig­nif­i­cance to our ru­ral com­mu­nity. That event is the 100th year of the Hand­hills Lake Stam­pede.

The orig­i­nal show was staged in July 1917 to raise money for the Red Cross dur­ing the war ef­fort. They man­aged to raise around thirty two hundred dol­lars with that first rodeo. Lit­tle did the folks that started the first show re­al­ize that it would be­come a con­tin­u­ously run rodeo for a hundred years.

Over the years peo­ple ate dust and al­kali off the lake bed when the lake was nearly dry, other times it was trudg­ing through the mud, but the show went on.

Those peo­ple had spirit and the drive to do their best and that spirit and drive still ex­ists to­day. One gen­er­a­tion af­ter an­other did what they had to and passed it on to those who fol­lowed to do the same.

An un­cle of mine, Day Lenfesty, won the sad­dle bronc event in that first rodeo. To­day, his grand­son, Day, is the ram­rod that runs the food booth. It is the place to get a good ham­burger and you can fin­ish your meal off with a piece of home­made pie. I have been told, and I am sure it’s true, that some folks come just for the pie and a hot cup of cof­fee.

Where is the Hand­hills Lake?, some will ask. Well, it’s lo­cated about 20 miles south­west of the town of Hanna. The rodeo grounds are lo­cated on the west side of the lake to­ward the north end. The show goes the first week­end of June so, pack up your trailer or mo­torhome and come join in on an his­toric event. There will be plenty of room for you to set up your camp, so set­tle in and stay awhile.

To get you in the mood for the rodeo, I have writ­ten a poem that is only a thumb­nail sketch of what the Hand­hills Lake Stam­pede is re­ally all about. Richard Pre­ston

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