Anticipation is building for the four-day Lions Labour Day Weekend Rodeo, Sept. 2 to 5, which will have some new twists for the whole family to enjoy.

Chris Connon, Lions president and rodeo co-chair, says they've beefed up their kids zone, added some new features in the rodeo arena, and have switched the timing of some of their events.

"It's our 55th annual rodeo, and we're looking at going bigger and better this year," he says. "We're going to have more attractions that are family-friendly. I mean, everybody loves the rodeo but we're going to put some other stuff on the ground that interests the family."

Among other things, it will include roping for kids, stick horse barrel racing, and of course the ever-popular petting zoo and bouncy castles.

In the rodeo arena, some features have been added to the big screen that will encourage more interaction with the crowd.

For the first time, women's saddle bronc will be featured.

"It's called the Trail to Cheyenne," Connon explains. "They compete at rodeos all over, and then the top four make their way to Cheyenne for the world finals in women's ranch bronc. We're one of the first qualifiers of their season."

Judging of the three contestants for Cochrane Lions Rodeo Queen is now underway, and the crowning has been moved up to the Saturday rodeo. Traditionally, it's been held on the last day of the rodeo but this gives the new queen more exposure.

It all starts Friday with a pancake breakfast of the Lions and BGC. Friday night is the 19th edition of the Slimdor Ranch Rodeo that is free to attend. It features teams of cowboys and cowgirls from different ranches competing in events based on the type of work they do every day.

Saturday the Foothills Rodeo Association sanctioned rodeo gets underway and continues until the finals on Labour Day Monday, where the best compete for the cherished championship buckles.

Saturday night is a chance to kick up your heels at a barn dance to the music of TC & Company.

Plenty more details and tickets are available here.

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