It might only be the end of March, but preparation for the Strathmore Stampede is underway.
Stampede fans are encouraged to bring their cheque books to the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino for the Strathmore Sponsor Canvas Auction April 6.
Fans, businesses and organizers will have the opportunity to bid on the canvas that will be wheeled around the track for four days on the wagons of some of the finest chuck drivers in the land.
“It’s a great night and a fun opportunity to get the community out there, get them thinking about the Stampede,” said Herb McLane, general manager of the Strathmore and District Agricultural Society. “There will be eats, entertainment and refreshments, as fans have a chance to socialize about the chuckwagon races.”
The chuckwagon races are a crowd favourite, and this auction provides a chance for companies to sponsor a wagon and cheer it on to victory.
The canvases for Kurt Bensmiller, Rae Croteau Jr., Layne MacGillivray and Kelly, Kirk, Mark and Mitch Sutherland’s wagons will be up for bidding.
The more successful, well-known drivers are sure to fetch a pricier canvas, but there is also a chance at buying low on a lesser-known driver, and having him come through with strong races.
There are 36 wagons available, but some have already been presold. The auction starts around 5 p.m.
There will be a free bus ride with room for 56 rodeo enthusiasts that departs from the ag society’s livestock pavilion at 3 p.m., and will return by approximately 10:30 p.m.