Miller family to open Hand Hills Lake Stampede
It has been a century in the making, and the folks at the Hand Hills Lake Stampede are going to party like its 1916.
The 100th Hand Hills Lake Stampede is set to go this weekend. While at the heart of the event is riding, roping and wrestling, there is a whole lot more going on to mark the centennial.
“We have so many things going on this year above and beyond the rodeo,” one of the organizers, Day Lenfesty, tells The Mail. Already campers are pulling in for the weekend extravaganza, and Friday it starts with a good ol’ fashion pancake breakfast. Slack kicks off at 10 a.m. Friday. At noon, a tradeshow opens in the community Hall. The Bixbys will take the Stam- pede Stage from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. This family of musicians has been playing at the Stampede for four generations. After that, the True Grit Mounted Shooters will put on a great gun-slinging performance. The first running of the chucks and chariot races are Friday night and then after that, cowboys and cowgirls can dance the night away to the sound of Drew Gregory for the opening party.
While Friday will be a day to remember, Saturday is even more action packed. After breakfast, the day kicks off with a parade to mark the centennial at 10 a.m. After that, there are the Wild Horse races and the members of the Miller family will be the guests of honour to open the show.
Doug McLean of Rocky Mountain House is the grandson of J.J. Miller, the founder of the Hand Hills Lake Stam- pede. He is planning to be on hand. His family will forever be linked to the event.
“We have been around it all of our lives,” McLean tells The Mail. “We are all very aware of it.”
He said he was at the 50th anniversary of the show, and has attended a few times since then. He plans on heading up on Thursday and taking in the entire spectacle.
Saturday is packed with all kinds of fun including a performance by Don Howard in the afternoon, another perfor- mance by the Bixbys and the Stampede Show Riders. The Cat Country Band will be the featured entertainment at the Cowboy Cabaret. The 100th Rodeo Fireworks will paint the sky at 11 p.m.
Sunday, while the action winds down, there is still lots of Rodeo action with Crash Cooper rodeo entertainer, the wild pony races, chucks and chariots and Five of Diamonds will be on the Stampede Stage.
Organizers have put tremendous work into putting on the best show they can for the centennial and it won’t be the last.
“It is going to be pretty unique because of all the history and the community is coming together so much. The community is growing so it is going to keep going,” said organizer Marilyn Vredegoor.
100 years of cowboy culture will be celebrated at the Centennial of the Hand Hills Lake Stampede this weekend.