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Absent since 2019, Unity Western Days back in the saddle

The 39th annual Unity Western Days has rounded up three days of experiences.

UNITY — For the Unity Western Days committee, this is not their first rodeo. The UWD committee are excited to be back in the saddle after a pandemic prescribed hiatus and they are promising a great weekend for the 39th annual event to be held June 3-5 in Unity.

The weekend’s events offer something for everyone of all generations and provides a great attraction factor for visitors, which in turn produces an economic spinoff benefit for community businesses.

The Western Days weekend will include three days of activities kicking off on June 3 with a roast beef supper and Citizen of the Year announcement at the Agroplex. Friday night will also include a bull riding event. The purse for the Friday night bull riding event was topped up by a local farmer in hopes of attracting more riders.

Businesses often support the event by decorating their locations and holding some specials throughout the weekend. During the day June 4, Wiggles and Whiskers Pet Supply Store is hosting a western-themed photo booth for pets at their location.

Saturday is packed full of activity. Delta Co-op is hosting a show and shine event all morning, encouraging participants to join the Western Days parade that begins at 1 p.m. Past parades have seen more than three dozen entries and so far, enthusiasm for the parade event has been promising for another great lineup of floats and novelty entries. The Unity Miners hockey club will be cooking up burgers downtown before the parade starts.

The Unity 4-H Club will also be holding their achievement day at the rodeo grounds that kicks off with the beef show at 8:30 a.m. 4-H members will also be displaying their work in gardening, crafts, light horse and young horse, archery, mechanics, canine and interior design. This new event to Western Days weekend highlights the year of work leaders and 4-H members have been part of and a wonderful opportunity to see, and learn, what this club and its members are all about.

Saturday rodeo action kicks off at 5:30 p.m. and the day will be capped off by getting a chance to dust off the dancing shoes at the popular cabaret, featuring Danny and the Dusters.

June 5 will also be a day full of activity starting out with the Unity Baptist Church hosted pancake breakfast on the rodeo grounds. The Unity Flying Club is hosting coffee and doughnuts social event. Rodeo action kicks off at 2 p.m.

The Western Days committee includes longtime members Terry Smith, Brian Woytiuk, Mary Anne Gaetz and Deryl Richards. They have been joined in the last number of years by Michelle Kowerchuck, Tanya Chester and Twila and Brent Zunti. The weekend’s event is a big undertaking for the small committee, but they remain committed to bringing a full three days of activity to Unity. They estimate that between1,200 and 1,500 hours are put in to host the event.

One committee member affirms that the contributions of community sponsors, donors and volunteers are a big benefit to the overall success. Volunteers the UWD committee can always count on are the Unity Lions Club who man the gates throughout the weekend.

Rodeo attendees always enjoyed the opportunity to grab food or snacks at the booth, but Woytiuk says they put a call out for someone to run the rodeo booth as a fundraiser but did not have a response, therefore a group from North Battleford will be operating the booth on the grounds this year.

Pre-pandemic rodeo events often included two dance/social events Friday and Saturday nights, but this year the committee will just host a Saturday dance only.

Woytiuk says there are a lot of attraction factors for the weekend, but he might rule the rodeo and the dance as two of the biggest drawing cards, as people crave a return to normal

Four rodeo queens, who’s bios were in the May 20 issue of the Press-Herald will be on the grounds throughout the weekend and the winner will be crowned at Sunday’s performance.

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