Celebrate Surrey’s western heritage at the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair
Cloverdale’s very own historic, country themed fair is returning on May 19 to 22 after a three year hiatus
The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair, the second largest rodeo in the country and one of Western Canada’s most popular family events, is set to hit the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in Surrey, B.C. this Victoria Day long weekend with western themed shows, activities, rodeo events, and amusement rides.
The event is organized by the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association, which is volunteer run. The association got its start in 1888 as a fall fair to support agricultural development in the Lower Fraser Valley.
Rick Hugh, one of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association’s vice-presidents, says the fall fair was organized and put on by the association for over a century.
“Then, in the mid 90s, it was married, if you will, to the rodeo, which usually takes place in May,” Hugh says. “Since 1996, we [have] run the two together. So that’s why we have the name Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.”
The rodeo aspect of this event is set to take place throughout the long weekend at Stetson Bowl, the grandstands located in the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. Attendees can watch over 90 participants compete in roughstock rodeo events such as bareback, saddle bronc, and bull riding, along with ladies barrel racing.
The 132nd annual country fair is set to feature a variety of attractions including All Star Wrestling, freestyle skateboarding, an agrizone, a Lego display, gold panning with Yukon Dan, pony rides, and an Indigenous village organized by the Waceya Métis Society.
Performances from West Coast Lumberjack Show, XPOGO Acrobats, along with multiple live musicians and bands will also be at the rodeo in addition to over 40 rides provided by West Coast Amusement, food vendors, and a barbeque rib competition.
“[Its] all the sights and sounds and smells of what you want at a fair,” Hugh says.
The event has stuck to its historic country theme over the years to support the western heritage of Cloverdale and represent farming and agriculture within Surrey. Kathy Sheppard, president of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association, says local businesses also like to get into the western theme.
“Most of the merchants in the downtown Cloverdale core decorate their windows, [and] they dress in western wear,” she says.
These businesses also actively participate in the event by helping to host activities of their own.
On May 18 at 6:15 pm, the Cloverdale “Bed Races,” organized by the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association, will take place where participants race their makeshift bed on wheels to the finish line.
The local legion will also put on a pancake breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, along with a Saturday night steak dinner. A parade will take place on May 20 at 10:00 am throughout historic downtown Cloverdale.
“We’re not just operating on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, it’s throughout the whole community of Cloverdale,” Sheppard says. “We bring over $12 million to the local community [during] that four day weekend.”
Sheppard and Hugh say the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair is a great way for attendees to connect with their local community, and hope the public is excited to visit the event for the first time since 2019.
“The whole association has been working so hard to put this on. I’m looking forward to the gates opening on Friday afternoon and the people from the community coming to enjoy our grounds, our fair, our heritage, everything that we have to offer,” Sheppard says.
Students interested in volunteering at the event can fill out the application form on the event’s website.
To purchase tickets for the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair and to learn more about scheduled events, head to www.cloverdalerodeo.com.