Rodeo, Fall Fair long tradition in the Valley
The Nicola Valley Fall Fair and Pro Rodeo, and its many marvels, are a tradition to the Merritt area; while the event was started in 1910, this year’s edition is the 37th consecutive Fall Fair and the 54th Pro Rodeo.
While the two events are separate, they are held together in the same Rodeo Grounds area during the same days.
“We don’t charge a lot to get in,” said Kathy Reimer, Fall Fair convener and treasurer, noting adults pay $5, seniors and children $3, and kids younger than 6 pay $2. “We just really want everyone to come out and support this.”
At the main building, the Fall Fair will consist of about 1,000 displays with baked and canned goods, flowers, fine arts and photography, for example.
In the poultry building outside, there will be an animal showcase, consisting of chickens, pigeons and various other animals.
Prizes will be handed out to those who receive a ribbon in their category. The prizes consist of cash amounts of $10, for example, Reimer said.
The two commercial vendors are Big Foot Leathers and Bejewelled, which is down from last year’s number of vendor of about three.
“We don’t have a lot because there isn’t a lot of room,” Reimer said.
The Nicola Valley Vintage Car Club will also be at the show.
The entire event is open to the public at noon on Saturday and will close at 8 p.m.
On Sunday, the hours will be 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. At 9 p.m. a Country Dance will be held with John Allison.
Judging is completed from 8 a.m. to noon.
A pet show is scheduled for Sunday.
54th Pro Rodeo
The Nicola Valley hosts one of the last competitions of the year for the Canadian Professional Rodeo, Elaine Gill, treasurer for the Nicola Pro Rodeo, said.
“Everyone is vying to go to the Canadian Finals Rodeo,” she said, noting the event has been held here for the last 54 years. “There aren’t many events that have been around for that long and it is really thanks to the efforts of people in the community.”
The CFR is in Edmonton from Nov. 7 to 11.
“We have some of the top [National Finals Rodeo] cowboys there,” she said. “And some of the competitors are in the top 15 in the world and some of the best in Canada.”
The rodeo portion is set to feature eight professional events, with cash prizes available.
Each competition has a minimum pot of $2,500, with an additional $60 contributed by every competitor.
First place takes 40 per cent, with second, third and fourth netting 30, 20 and 10 per cent, respectively.
The rodeo consists of seven major events, including bareback, steer wrestling, saddle bronc, tie-down roping, ladies barrel racing, team roping and bull riding.
The boys’ steer riding is a minor pro rodeo event.
Competitions for locals include cow milking and ranch hand saddleback.
Competition starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The slack performance, which is the “overflow” show, is free and is scheduled for Saturday morning. The slack consists of all timed events, so there will be no rough stock.
A free team roping event will be held on Friday night.
Drill teams will also provide intermittent entertainment.
Admission for adults is $15, and $12 for seniors and children younger than 12.
Kids 6 and younger can enter for free. Tickets are available by cash only.
Both events are at the rodeo grounds on Lindley Creek Road.