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Estevan's rodeo named the best stop on the KCRA tour

The KCRA has been entertaining fans in Estevan for the past three years.
The KCRA was in Estevan for three days of action in June.

ESTEVAN - Estevan has been recognized for having the best stop on the KCRA rodeo circuit.

The announcement was made recently by the KCRA, whose members and competitors determined which rodeo should win the honour. For the past two years, the Estevan KCRA stop has been held at the same time as the midway and other events as part of the Estevan Exhibition Association's Energy City Ex.

The KCRA has stops throughout Saskatchewan and holds events in other communities in the Prairie provinces. 

Dallas Spencer with the rodeo committee said they weren't given a reason for why Estevan was selected, but they believe Estevan was chosen because the Estevan Exhibition Association's board worked hard to bring the rodeo and midway together.

"Just from talking with the rodeo contestants, there isn't a rodeo around that they have a midway that they can go to every night, as well as the cabarets that we put on. And there aren't very many rodeos that they go to that have as many people in the stands as we do," Spencer told the Mercury and SaskToday.

Having the two events together has played a big part in the rodeo's success the past two years.

"We find it brings a few more people to check out the rodeo who might not come if it was just the rodeo that was on," said Spencer. "It just makes it a little more successful. Everything happens at once … and then we're already planning for the next year."

The first KCRA rodeo was held in Estevan during the Labour Day long weekend in 2021. It drew huge crowds as it was one of the first community events since the bulk of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted. And Spencer said they have been happy with the attendance the past two years. The rodeo expanded from two days to three this year, and Spencer expects they will have a three-day rodeo again in 2024.

The level of competition at the KCRA rodeo has also been very good.

"One thing we like as the Estevan Exhibition Association is the KCRA is very community-oriented and very family-oriented. That's where lots of these young kids get their start at [in rodeo], too," said Spencer.

The people who run the rodeos are very good, and the entrants have been very committed to the community. The competitors have not only enjoyed the midways, they appreciate the rodeo arena and the grounds as a whole.

"When they're in town, they camp out there for three days, and they're supporting the local businesses in town," said Spencer.

The previous rodeo circuits would bring competitors to Estevan for one night, and then the entrants would be gone the next day.

Spencer, who is stepping into the rodeo committee chairman's role, said the rodeo has a very good committee, and he expressed his thanks to the previous chairman, Duane Gillespie and his wife Rhonda, for bringing the KCRA to Estevan and making the timing work with the fair.