When Chad Chapple, Jodie Surerus, Andy Copeland, and Link Copeland decided to bring back the Fort St. John Rodeo in 2017, they hoped for strong attendance, and that it would once again become an annual event. With their announcement on June 13 that the Fort St. John Rodeo would be back for another ride this year, July 20 to 22, it appears that their wish has come true.
“We have great volunteers and community support, and it will be an annual event. Last year’s attendance blew us away, and showed us there’s definitely a need to have it back in town,” Chapple said.
The rodeo, held at the North Peace Light Horse Association Rodeo Grounds, will begin at 1 p.m. each day. All the traditional rodeo events will return this year, including the All Pro Chuckwagon Racing series, which is the last event of each day. Saddle bronc is the featured event, which means it has the highest payout. The Rank Mini Pony Broncs are returning as well, with more kids expected to compete this time around.
Chapple said the feedback has been nothing but positive since last year’s rodeo.
“It’s been great, and lots of fun. People really missed the Fort St. John Rodeo, and we have a western-culture town,” he said.
This year, the Friday and Saturday rodeos will be followed by the “Dance in the Dirt,” a dance and concert held at the grounds, and headlined by Alberta singer Trevor Panczak. Rodeo-goers will be able to camp at the grounds this year as well.
The 2018 Fort St. John Rodeo will be able to seat 3,500 fans at once this year, an increase of 600 from last year, ensuring there’s plenty of room for people to enjoy the fun.
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at email@example.com.