ALBANY’S favourite rodeo is back with a bang this summer as preparations for the Kalgan Stampede ramp up for a special festive edition.
After a one-year hiatus, organiser Tom Kennedy wasn’t sure if he would bring the popular event back to life.
But an enduring love for the local rodeos he used to visit as a kid in the 70s and 80s continues to drive his passion.
“As a kid we used to go to the Manypeaks rodeo and just loved it,” he said.
“I remember the fun we used to have. I was amazed at how clever and skilled the horses were.”
Poor ticket sales at its early 2019 run forced Mr Kennedy to cancel the annual event last summer, but he’s determined to give it one more shot in 2020.
“We are going back to basics, instead of trying to do too much,” he said.
“My heart wasn’t in it but after Covid businesses are going well and people want to get out and have fun.
“We are doing it because we love it.”
The first two editions of the Stampedes were held in January, but Mr Kennedy has decided a more festive approach is a better fit.
In a truly authentic outback experience, audiences will be treated to a one-day spectacular on December 27 featuring bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling and roping.
“People will be amazed at the speed of the horses, the agility of the bulls – they are the superstars of the arena,” Mr Kennedy said.
“It’s the kind of atmosphere people down here don’t generally get to see.”
Held at the Kalgan River Caravan Park from 12pm, visitors can eat and drink to their heart’s content with a licensed bar and selection of food vans available throughout the day.
There will be plenty of entertainment for the kids too, as well as live music from approximately 8pm until midnight.
“People have commented how they love the family atmosphere,” Mr Kennedy said.
“The competitors have said it’s one of their favourite ones to come to because the location is so great.
“There are few rodeos on in WA during summer because of the heat, so we are fortunate we can offer that in the festive season.”
Albany’s most popular bull, Brucey Brahman, is also going to be around to entertain the crowd.
“I want to show how gentle a bull can be, because they are feared, they are like sharks – everyone fears getting near them,” Mr Kennedy said.
“But Brucey never gets angry. I love seeing the smile he puts on people’s faces.”
Tickets for the Kalgan Stampede are available from Eventbrite, and entry is free for children under six years old.
“Maximum capacity is 3000 because of Covid, so get in early or miss out,” Mr Kennedy said.
“If people don’t support this event it will be gone forever.”