Hand Hills Grapevine
Hello Hand Hills……what beautiful weather we have been having. Things are so green here in the Hills.
Not even sure where to start with a report on the 100th but in simple terms, it was amazing. All of the hard work of our amazing volunteers was well rewarded. The people who came to help us celebrate, the weather, the cowboys, and our volunteers were all top notch and couldn’t have been any better. Amanda Deboer, who was representing the Canadian Red Cross, summed it up perfectly in a few words. I asked her if she had been to many Rodeos and she said she grew up on the Calgary Stampede but she looked at me and said, ‘but Hand Hills is Real!’. So true!
We are ball parking the number of people that were at the Stampede on the Saturday at 5000 people. With all the passes we sold (actually sold out of) plus the cowboys, plus all of the under 16 age kids, we came up with the figure. According to the food and liquor sold we feel we doubled the amount of people that were at the Stampede last year. Rick Anderson Photography took an aerial photograph of the Hills during the Rodeo. I hope I can submit it for next week. You will agree that the Hills were full. Cam and Doray Veno and family took on the task of counting campers again this year and they came up with 482, up from 319 last year. We have steadily climbed in this category as the Veno Family have been keeping track since 2012 when there was 250 campers. The same in 2013 and in 2014 we climbed to 286. Thanks for the count!
The Parade was spectacular and the organizers were very happy with the almost 70 entries. A real show was put on for the crowd. The Heritage Float was such a sight to see with all of the seniors that have paved the way on the road to the 100th. A set of chutes and an old replica of the Club were used on the float and were from the 50th Stampede. Don Benedict Sr made them then and were still in great shape to be used for the 100th. What a fitting tribute to our seniors. The Special Areas Float was a sight to see and as were all of the Family Floats. A lot of work went into every entry and we thank all the participants and the organizers for putting on a great crowd pleaser.
The Concessions Booth was a beehive of activity all weekend. There was always a line up but the crew in the booth never made people wait too long. All weekend long we heard lots and lots of compliments about how well the booth was organized and run.
The Big White Tent was a real meeting place and was full to capacity both nights for the dances. Jacquie and Brian Galster and their crew kept everyone happy for the weekend in the Beer Gardens. The entertainment was well received and was a pleasure to sit and listen to. Don Howard and his band play what I call real Country Music! The talent that was on stage when they played in the Heritage Tent was enjoyed by many. The Bixby’s were another crowd pleaser. The two times they were on stage, they drew large crowds to hear their country music. Their song, The Hand Hills Rodeo, which they wrote for the 100th, was very well received and had people clapping, cheering and dancing to it. The love of music just shines through them as they sing.
The fireworks were utterly amazing and for those 15 minutes people stood in amazement at the display that was happening in the Hand Hills. Larry McDonald was responsible for organizing this and it was top notch. If you get a chance, there are a few videos of them that are well worth the watch.
The Souvenir Ladies did a great job with the selection of quality items for Sale. Tally Quaschnick and Tamara Quaschnick still have items for sale so don’t fret if you didn’t get yours. Just contact one of them and they can fix you up. The jackets, the t-shirts, the hats, you name it, they were all awesome. Putting the 100th poster on a t-shirt was such a good idea. Did you have a look at the crib boards with the Bronc on them, they are great! Phone them! There are still lots of 100th Celebration Books for sale as well.
I hope to put together a more detailed report in the near future. I am sorry that I haven’t had the time to do this up right but things are still busy in the Hills. The Slo Pitch Tournament this past weekend was another outstanding event the Hills should be very proud of. The weatherman cooperated again; the Beer Gardens were a happy place and the booth kept everyone fed. The campers came out again to the Hills and from all reports, Brandon Cuddie and his crew did a stand up job of organizing this tournament. I am sure it will be a continuing event in the Hills. Get your team entered for next year. The Manglers were the winners of the A Event. What a pleasure to watch this young team as they hit home run after home run. It is so much fun to see people coming together to have a good time. That is what we do in the Hills.
The Appreciation Supper was held on Sunday for the Volunteers from the Stampede. Day and Bill prepared all the food over the course of Saturday and Sunday. The barbecued steaks were done to perfection as was the whole meal. Thanks for all your hard work at getting this done along with the ball tournament. Simply amazing!
And the winner is….. Rick Housch. Rick’s name was drawn as the winner of the quilt that was made and donated by Maureen Benedict. Rick is Maureen’s neighbor so that is very fitting and to top it off, Rick had made a special trip to Hanna to buy a ticket when he had heard that Maureen was selling them in town. Thanks for the support Rick and more importantly thank you Maureen as this quilt raised over $3000 that went towards our donation to the Red Cross. Our Community just keeps giving and giving. Hand Hills Proud!
To be continued and yes I will touch on other news next week!
Till next week…enjoy life, it only gets better and better and you are in full control of it!