For the second year in a row, it’s going to be quiet on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds over May Long Weekend.
“It’s really tough,” said Shannon Claypool, president of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association. “I’m going to miss it again. If it was on, I’d be on holidays right now and up at the fairgrounds volunteering everyday.”
This year marks the third time the Cloverdale Rodeo has been cancelled outright and the fourth time the Fairgrounds will be quiet on Victoria Day weekend. The other cancellation happened in the late ’40s after Glen Valley in North Langley flooded.
“They stabled the animals there,” noted Claypool, “so the rodeo couldn’t go ahead.”
And the Cloverdale Rodeo was postponed in May, 1995 because of a Surrey civic workers strike. The rodeo was rescheduled for Sept. 1 to 4 that year and cost the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association an estimated $150,000.
Claypool said he’s postponing the AGM until later in the year in the hopes the Association can have an in-person meeting. He said the Association also hopes to hire a new general manager by then after Mike McSorley’s sudden departure in March of this year.
“We’d like to have the new general manager in place so they could be introduced and also speak at the AGM.”
Claypool added planning for next year is already underway.
“Our rodeo committee and board still meet monthly and our Country Fair committee is also meeting,” he said. “We are still planning a big celebration for the 75th anniversary. We’re doing what we can to plan and it’s going to be a lot of fun for everyone.”
The rodeo and fair attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year over four days. The event has an army of volunteers, more than 500, that work throughout the year to help plan and run the event.
This year would have been the rodeo’s 75th anniversary and the Country Fair’s 133rd.