Pull out your cowboy hat and get into the western spirit, it’s Rodeo weekend in Warman! This family-fun, action-packed event is one that you won’t want to miss. We have some tips on making the most of it with the kids.
The action starts on Friday evening with the Rodeo Performance at 6:30 pm. You will want to arrive early to find a great seat in the grandstand. (The earlier you arrive, the closer you’ll be able to park too!) Kids 10 and under are free (when accompanied by an adult), otherwise entry is $15 per person per day. The gate, beer garden and concession/food vendors open at 5:00 pm so you can get stocked up on snacks and treats (bring cash but there is an ATM on site if you need more).
Check the weather forecast before going - the rodeo goes on rain or shine, so you may want to pack a light rain jacket, poncho or umbrella if it looks like a shower may go through. Some other things to bring are a water bottle, sanitizing hand wipes for those sticky cotton candy hands and a jacket for when it cools off in the evening. Kids can bring an autograph book and get autographs from and photos with the rodeo performers.
You will be captivated by some of the best amateur rodeo around as competitors from across the prairies vie for guaranteed prize money. Cheer loudly as you enjoy the calf roping, steer wrestling, bareback and saddle bronc riding, ladies’ barrel racing and everyone’s favourite, bull riding. It’s exhilarating, heart-pounding excitement!
During the intermission each day there are exciting Wild Pony Races. A team of three will attempt to get a rider on a “wild” pony and ride for two jumps, so if you have a cowboy or cowgirl ages 8 to 12, pre-register them about a half hour before showtime. You’ll need to sign a consent form and spots are limited. The little buckaroos might eat a little dirt and get a little dirty, so get your camera ready because you’ll want to be sure to capture that memory!
If you’re heading to the beer gardens on Friday evening you’ll be entertained by local Travis Blanchard, but, of course, no minors are permitted. You’ll have time to take a break with the kiddies and come back for the fireworks at 10:30 pm. Prepare to be mesmerized! This awesome fireworks display will be set off at the Warman High School Football field so you’ll have a great vantage point if you park nearby and watch from your vehicle, or bring lawn chairs and blankets and get cozy for a great view of the spectacular display.
Saturday of the Rodeo weekend is the most exciting day for kids. Start the day right with the pancake breakfast at the rodeo grounds (by donation), then grab a lawn chair and pick your spot to experience the old fashioned parade. (See below for the parade route. Keep in mind that the road closure will be in effect by 10:00 am and access to the parade route streets can only be made on foot.) The colourful floats going by make the perfect backdrop for great photos of the kids with their happy smiles and you’ll likely hear a few squeals of delight as they scramble to gather candy being tossed their way. Bring a bag to carry the stockpile of treats from the generous businesses and community groups participating in the parade and be safe–watch that your kids or pets don’t dart out in the street in front of a horse or vehicle.
After the parade winds down, head over to Kidsville inside at the Diamond Rodeo Arena 11:00 am to 3:00 pm where the kids will be flying high with fun activities such as face painting, balloon twisting and bouncy castles.The concession and several food trucks open at noon on the grounds behind the arena, so grab some lunch and catch the Heavy Horse Pulls. Stick around for the highlight of Kidsville – the Magic Show at 1:00 pm. (Wristbands for Kidsville and the magic show are $5). The kids might be a bit played out so you’ll have time for a rest before heading back for the rodeo performance at 6 pm. If you feel like kicking up your heels to the great music of The Tommy John Ehman Band, head to the cabaret at 9 pm (no minors). Tickets ($15) can be purchased at the door (or at showpass.com).
Sunday begins with a Cowboy Fellowship Service at Warman Diamond Rodeo Arena followed by donuts and coffee. The gate, beer gardens and concession open at noon with the final rodeo performance at 2:00 pm. It could be quite warm so be sure to wear your cowboy hat (it will help you look the part and keep the sun off your head!) and bring some water and sunscreen. In this performance there will be extra bulls and riders brought in for even more of the ever popular and thrilling bull riding.
The Warman Diamond Rodeo is an exciting and fun event that the whole family can enjoy, so bring your enthusiasm and relish in the excitement for one day or the whole weekend.