BOWDEN —The Bowden and District Agricultural Society (BDAS) is tentatively planning to hold its annual Bowden Daze rodeo July 17-18 this year – if pandemic restrictions allow it.
That’s the word from BDAS president Keith Bailey.
“We are organizing a rodeo for July at this point,” Bailey said during an interview.
Last year, Bowden Daze was cancelled due to the pandemic lockdown.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) says under current pandemic restrictions, events and competitions are not allowed; nor are outside gatherings of more than five people.
Those limitations could make it basically impossible to run a rodeo, he said, indicating there’d be no allowance for fans.
"Rodeo’s not a money-maker and without spectators, you can’t really afford to have a rodeo," he said.
The BDAS will likely wait until about mid-June before making a final decision on whether or not to hold Bowden Daze this year, he said.
If Bowden Daze does go ahead, it will it will be a pro rodeo, sanctioned by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA), he said.
“We just wanted to go to the next level and try something new,” he said. “It’s nothing to do with the CARA (Central Alberta Rodeo Association) that we’ve currently had; they’re a great association. It’s just wanting to step up to the pro ranks.”
There are lots of local cowboys who can compete in the pros so he’s looking forward to seeing them participate -- if the rodeo does indeed occur this year, he said.
“There’s a lot of good local talent in the pro ranks,” he said.
In recent years, the BDAS has held a small midway in conjunction with Bowden Daze.
"I don’t think we’re going to do that this year, just because of all the uncertainty. I think we’ll keep it just to a rodeo, if we’re allowed to,” he said.
Bailey has been president of the BDAS for 13 years now.
“I like doing it, to be honest. I just like it,” he said. "I like rodeo and I like ag societies and I just like helping the community so it’s fun for me.”