YOUR GUIDE TO THE BLACK GOLD RODEO

Good times in Leduc for the cowboy crowd, young and old.

From April 28th to May 1st, the City of Leduc will be ‘ablaze’ with Rodeo fever, as it hosts the 42nd ANNUAL BLACK GOLD RODEO. Held at the Leduc Recreation Centre (LRC) and a few other Leduc venues, the Rodeo will offer a dizzying array of events.  One can view the entire schedule of events and venues on its colourful and detailed website, www.blackgoldrodeo.com.  For the first time this year, the Black Gold Rodeo will be a  4-DAY EVENT !!
The extended schedule will start on Thursday night with rodeo performances at the LRC scheduled for 7 pm, although the doors open at 5:30. Tickets for the Rodeo and the Cabaret are quite affordable, with children under 4 being free (no kids at the Cabaret, thank you!): they can be purchased through TicketMaster (ticketmaster.ca or 780.451.8000), through the TicketMaster outlet at the LRC Main Desk or right at the door of the events.  On Thursday, the MIDWAY opens at noon (same time all 4 days, and that evening, the Waldorf Hotel will host its annual RODEO KICK-OFF PARTY.  The Waldorf has undergone some drastic renovations in the past couple of years, and is now a modern country bar with an excellent sound system and friendly staff (not to mention a delicious menu).  The Rodeo Kick-off Party at 7:30 will feature some ‘silly’ and fast-paced games with fun prizes, so with the bar having a strong western flavor and being packed for this event every year, it is a popular venue to get into the rodeo spirit! 
On FRIDAY, starting at 9 am and continuing ‘til 2 pm, the RODEO OF SMILES will cater to special needs youth: participation is limited to registered guests only. Hundreds of youth from the Region have participated in past years:   dozens of volunteers and a well-planned schedule contribute to making this event a successful element of the Black Gold Rodeo.   
At 4 pm, the LIONS/SOBEYS TOONIE BBQ in the Sobey’s parking lot will cater to the entire population while raising funds for a worthwhile organisation: although the lines can be a bit long, it is a fun opportunity to mix and mingle with friends and neighbors, and the BBQ fare offered by Sobey’s and cooked by the congenial Lions members is usually top-notch!  4:30 will see the start of the REGIONAL FAMILY FUN FAIR: admission is FREE.  One of the rodeos’ favourite events with youngsters and their families is the PET PARADE set for 5 o’clock: it will take place in the LRC’s Curling Rink.   At 5 pm, the doors will open to the 2nd RODEO TRADE FAIR: a free admission event, it will showcase the best this region’s business and retail communities have to offer, and will also be open on Saturday, from 11am to 10 pm, and on Sunday from 11am to 5pm.   
Before 6 pm, the COUNTRY IDOL CONTEST will open its registration desk: the performance will begin at 7 pm.  This is a first-time event and has caused a lot of talk and excited anticipation in the community. If live singing is your thing, and you’d like to cheer a local performer, perhaps even someone you know, this is definitely the venue to choose for some laid back and pleasant entertainment! The RODEO performances continue at 7 pm and promise lots of exciting action guaranteed to please young and old rodeo fans!
On SATURDAY morning at 8, a “Slack” Rodeo performance will take place still at the LRC, and FOOD BANK donations will be gratefully accepted.  From 8:30 am to 11 am, another LIONS/SOBEY’S Toonie breakfast will take place in the Sobey’s Parking Lot, whatever the weather!!
Later that morning at 11, the BLACK GOLD DAYS PARADE will start on 50th Street near Black Gold Drive and will end at 61st Avenue. It is recommended that you plan your parking options well in advance, as the downtown core gets congested on that morning. This Rodeo prides itself in a fantastic parade, filled with many colourful floats, horses, clowns and much more.  Definitely an event to catch with the family or simply with friends: arriving early will secure one of the many great ‘viewing’ spots along the parade route.  Planning your ‘exit’ is also a good idea, to avoid being caught in the traffic congestion, should you be in a rush to go somewhere else afterwards!
At 2 pm, the FASHION SHOW will be showcasing cool and new designs within the LRC.  The COUNTRY IDOL CONTEST continues at 3 pm: it is also a free event, and the performers will no doubt hope for a lively crowd to cheer them on.  The rodeo performances will resume at 7 pm: the Rodeo committee asks that you show your support to our Canadian Troops, and WEAR 
To finish a busy rodeo day, plan to enjoy an evening of music, dance and fun at the RODEO CABARET for the 18 and over crowd: doors open at 8:30 in the Curling Rink (LRC) and the excellent, dynamic band Denver Daines & Hellbent will hit the first rift at 9 and entertain you into the night.  For the younger set, please remember to bring your ID, as without it, entry into the event will be denied.
SUNDAY will start with a COWBOY CHURCH SERVICE in the (LRC) Sobey’s Arena at 10:30.  With country gospel music performed by a traditional and talented band, this is a great venue to be inspired by a Christian service while being still surrounded by the rodeo spirit.   The FINAL RODEO PERFORMANCE starts at 2, and if you’ve been unable to catch any other Rodeo events, this is obviously the GOLD event that rodeo fans will not want to miss!  Friends and live music fans will also want to attend the IDOL CONTEST at 3 (free admission), and cheer the final contestants.  We hope this guide will be helpful to our Pipestone Flyer readers, we wish you a fun time at the Rodeo this weekend!
 
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