In order for an athlete to qualify for the Wildrose Rodeo Association finals, they need to finish the season as one of the Top 10 point leaders in their event.
However, if it were not for a small army of dedicated volunteers, the rodeo wouldn’t even be happening this weekend in Barrhead.
That is according to Barrhead and District Agricultural Society president Randy Schmidt, indicating that more than 100 volunteers are needed to successfully stage the Sept. 13-16 event.
“It really is a community effort. To host an event as large as the finals, countless volunteer hours are needed,” he said.
In the early stages, most of the work involves planning during the Ag Society’s regular meetings. As the event gets closer, however, the meetings get more frequent and the planning gets more detailed.
About five days before the rodeo, work begins on converting the Agrena’s ice-rink into a rodeo ring, which is made more difficult by the fact that the actual rodeo surface has to be laid over top of the ice.
“It is a huge undertaking,” Schmidt said.
This year, the process started Sept. 8 with the town’s parks and recreation staff putting a layer of wood chips on the ice. To make sure the woodchips adhere to the ice, they first flooded the surface with a thin layer of water.
On Sept. 10, the County of Barrhead starts bringing in truckloads of dirt, which is spread evenly on top of the woodchips.
To complete the process, a group of volunteer’s install the ironwork, chutes and gates, as well as the extra boarding.
During the actual rodeo, 30 to 35 volunteer shifts are needed on the average night to staff the doors, provide security and help at the bar.
“And then we need another group to help us tear everything down,” he said.
For those wanting to volunteer, you can contact volunteer co-ordinator Elaine Schmidt at 780-674-0793 for more details.