Get ready to cheer on First Responders from all over Alberta this Saturday (August 11) as they compete in the 36th annual Calgary Police Rodeo.

It is anticipated the Cochrane Lions Rodeo stands will once again be jam-packed as attendees cheer on their favourite police officer, firefighter or EMS member as they compete in 22 rodeo events. Mike Cavilla, President of the Calgary Police Rodeo Association anticipates the warm weather will draw in a record-breaking crowd. "This year we have a record number of contestants so it's going to be a great show. We have Edmonton Police, RCMP from both Alberta and Saskatchewan, fire departments from Foothills, Red Deer, Edmonton and Banff, we also have some competitors from Cochrane's EMS."

Being held in Cochrane for the third year in a row, the charity rodeo promises to offer no shortage of spills and thrills. While some participants have rodeo experience many others may be thankful first responders will be on site. "It's a real mixed bag of contestants; some do have rodeo experience, the majority have very limited experience and some have none. This year, for example, we have two sections of 8 bull riders for a total of 16 bull riders and I would say half have no experience of getting on a bull so this will be a first time for them. I expect they will have an adrenaline rush."

Attendees can expect to see all the usual rodeo events such as bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, team roping, steer wrestling and the always popular 'Cowboy Poker' at the end of the rodeo. "Everybody usually sticks around for it; the cowboys sit around the poker table and we send in some Mexican fighting bulls and see what they can do."

Besides all the rodeo action, the 'Kids Corral' will have tons of free entertainment beginning at noon for the younger attendees. "We have a number of new things we're bringing in this year. We'll have five horses giving rides to the kids in the kid's zone located in the ball diamonds; so it's going to be great for the kids as well."

Capping off the evening is a good ol' fashioned barn dance featuring music by Drew Gregory and Renegade Station.

Despite all the great entertainment, the main focus remains on the charitable aspect. "It's the most important thing. The primary reasons for us running the rodeo is to donate money back to our two benefactors. Our primary benefactor is the Missing Children's Society of Canada, it's a Calgary based organization that's in the business of looking for and locating runaway and abducted kids across the country. Secondly, the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund is our second benefactor and that fund honours one of our members that passed away on the job in the early 2000s."

On Saturday, the Calgary Police Rodeo Association will present a $10,000 cheque to the Missing Children's Society of Canada bringing their total to well over $100,000 and something the association is extremely proud of.

For those planning to attend, the Kids Corral opens at noon on Saturday while rodeo action gets started at 1 p.m. Tickets (cash only) can be purchased at the gate on Saturday as follows:

  • Adult 18+ Ticket $15
  • Student Ticket $10
  • Senior Ticket $5
  • Special All Day Pass $20
  • Barn Dance Only $10
  • Children Under 14 are FREE

For more information on the Calgary Police Rodeo go HERE.

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