COVID-19 took away the annual Lions Labour Day Rodeo, but it can't take away the western spirit here in Cochrane. 

Kevin Firkus, Co-Director of the Rodeo says even though they had to make the tough decision to cancel their biggest annual event, they still wanted to do something to involve the community. 

"To start the rodeo, you always have to load the chutes. So we came up with the idea of loading our bucking chutes full of food, for the food bank."

Firkus says they will be making their rounds around Cochrane with their bucking chute.

"On Sept. 1, 2 and 3 collecting food at designated spots and we'll be travelling around the neighbourhoods with a bunch of our cowboys and picking up food and keeping everybody informed that, we're going to be bigger and better next year."

The chute, which will be on the back of a trailer, will also be parked at various businesses over the next two weeks for people to make food donations.

"A bunch of the businesses that have asked for it, they're going to dress up western for the day or days that they have it . So it'll kind of bring the western atmosphere back to town for the two weeks leading up to the Labour Day weekend."

"It's on a 30 foot trailer and we have billboards with our sponsors all over the trailer from last year for our rodeo plus this bucking chute. It'll be sitting there and each day we will stack the food into it and take pictures. We've got 10 chutes, so hopefully we can fill this thing 10 times."

Firkus says they will be hitting up communities throughout the weekend, gathering food donations. 

"Our Queen will be with us, we're hoping she can be there everyday. We'll probably have our rodeo clown with us, stock contractors, everybody will be dressed up western. Kind of get the western atmosphere back into town."

We'll find out soon about about when and where the chute will be.

After the chute has made its rounds, September long weekend will end off with a bang.

"A fireworks display at Mitford Ponds. That was the only area that we could shoot the fireworks high enough so the entire town could see them.  We're going to do the display from there at around 8:45 on Sept. 7."